Girl, 11, dies after allergic reaction to toothpaste

Denise Alyna Saldate

The parents of a young girl from Southern California who they say died after an allergic reaction to toothpaste containing milk are sharing their heartbreaking story to warn other parents. 

“Contrary to what everyone’s telling me, I feel like I failed her,” Monique Altamirano, the girl’s mother, told Allergic Living. 

Altamirano said her daughter, Denise Saldate, had a dairy allergy and had been working with an allergist since she was as young as 1-years-old. 

Altamirano said her family had always read labels to make sure products were safe for Denise; however, after using new prescription toothpaste on April 4, something went very wrong. 

“She said, ‘I think I’m having an allergic reaction to the toothpaste,’ and her lips were already blue,” Altamirano told Allergic Living. “I picked her up and put her on my bed. I ran to the living room, told my daughter ‘Call 911,’ and I grabbed the EpiPen.”

Altamirano said she used the EpiPen and gave her daughter her inhaler before administering CPR. 

Denise was taken to the hospital where she died two days later. 

Denise was reportedly using MI Paste ONE toothpaste, which contains a warning label about an ingredient containing milk protein. 

No one in the family saw the warning. 

“Read everything,” Altamirano said. “Don’t get comfortable, just because you’ve been managing for several years. You can’t get comfortable or embarrassed to ask and ensure that ingredients are OK. Be that advocate for your child.”

A GoFundMe for Denise described her as a “loving daughter, sister, cousin, niece, and friend with such an amazing personality.” 

She even had her own YouTube channel. 

“Her presence brought an undeniable grace that was impossible to ignore. Her perspective on life was to always look on the bright side.  She wanted to make a difference in the world, and we knew one day she would change the world.  She was a born leader.”

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