Mom Warns Parents After Her Daughter Dies From Using Toothpaste

By Dave Basner

February 2, 2020

There are so many products we use every day that we don't think twice about, but it turns out that some of them could actually be dangerous, and in rare cases, deadly. Monique Altamirano of California is trying to raise awareness about that following the tragic death of her daughter, Denise. To help strengthen Denise's enamel, the 11-year-old girl used a new toothpaste that her dentist recommended and it wound up killing her. Denise suffered an allergic reaction to the toothpaste because it contained dairy, something she was severely allergic to.

Acutely aware of her daughter's allergy, Monique was always overly conscientious about what her daughter ingested. She used to always read the labels on toothpaste too but saw they never contained dairy products so she stopped checking. However, the new toothpaste, called MI Paste One, contained Recaldent, an ingredient derived from milk protein.

Monique described to Allergic Living what happened, explaining how Denise was "so excited to use her 'special toothpaste,'" but immediately after she did, her lips started to turn blue and she couldn't breathe. Recognizing her symptoms, she told her mom she was having an allergic reaction. Monique administered Denise's EpiPen but it didn't help. She had her other daughter call 911 while she tried CPR since the reaction worsened. An ambulance rushed Denise to the hospital where tragically, she died two days later.

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The distraught mother stated, "Contrary to what everyone's telling me, I feel like I failed her." Now, she's hoping to spread the word to parents of allergy sufferers about potential hidden dangers in everyday items. Monique said, "We can’t bring Denise back but we can help others in her name. We are so grateful to people who take allergies seriously. Denise wanted to change the world, but it's heartbreaking how she's doing it."

Monique's advice to parents with kids with allergies: "Read everything. Don't get comfortable, just because you've been managing for several years. You can't get comfortable or be embarrassed or afraid to ask and ensure that ingredients are okay. Be that advocate for your child."

A GoFundMe was set up for Monique and it raised $27,000 to help her cover funeral expenses. It is no longer accepting donations.

Photo: GoFundMe

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