About 1 in every 13 children has some food allergy. Food allergies are the body’s response to certain protein nutrients. The symptoms vary, with some being more severe than others. Your child’s health and wellbeing are important, so it is your responsibility as a parent to be aware of any food allergies your child has. Any food can likely cause an allergy, but these are the most common kinds that affect kids.
Peanut allergies are among the most common causes of extreme allergic reactions in kids. In more severe cases, even a small amount of peanut can potentially be life-threatening. Look out for signs such as hives, itching around the mouth and throat, tightening of the throat, wheezing, or even gastrointestinal problems like nausea and stomach cramps if you suspect your child has a peanut allergy. Peanut allergies can also cause anaphylaxis which can be fatal. Children with severe peanut allergies are encouraged to use epinephrine injectors. Once it’s been established that your child has a peanut allergy, you must adjust their diet and remove all foods that contain peanuts. Unfortunately, while some allergies clear up as your child grows, peanut allergies can be lifelong.
Egg allergies can develop as early as infanthood but usually clear up by adolescence. These allergies tend to happen a few minutes or hours after eating eggs or foods that contain eggs—signs for skin rashes, vomiting, hives, or nasal congestion. Unlike peanut allergies, egg allergies are rarely life-threatening. However, having a mild reaction does not mean your next reaction might not be severe.
Close to 7 million Americans have shellfish allergies. It’s important to note that shellfish allergies are not the same as seafood allergies despite falling into the same category. Therefore, if your child has a shellfish allergy, they might not have an allergic reaction to fish unless they also have a fish allergy. Shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels, oysters, clams, and other crustaceans and mollusks fall under shellfish. Allergic reactions vary across each person ranging from mild reactions to anaphylaxis. Look out for wheezing, throat tightness, stomach pain, itchy and watery eyes, and swelling, among many others, if you suspect your child has a shellfish allergy.
Milk allergies are different from lactose intolerance or milk protein intolerance, as these intolerances do not affect the immune system. Cow milk is one of the leading causes of milk allergies in children, but milk from buffalo, goats, and other mammals can also cause it. Your child may suffer from a breakout of hives, vomiting, and other digestive problems. Although not as common as peanuts, milk allergies can also cause anaphylaxis, so you must ensure your child’s diet is free from milk and other milk-based products.
The best way doctors diagnose allergies is through skin tests or blood tests. For the best method, consult with your doctor. That would help you know what foods to feed your child. Children with allergies need urgent care, so do not hesitate to send your child to the doctor’s, even in a mild case.