In order to prevent food allergies in children, parents must first understand the symptoms. Young children will have no understanding of why a particular food makes them feel ill. Mothers and fathers should read information pertaining to physical symptoms that require additional investigation by a pediatrician or allergist. Occasionally, newborns are sensitive to infant formula or cow’s milk, which can cause a reaction such as constant diarrhea, skin rashes or weight loss. If a newborn is having difficulty gaining weight or suffers from gastrointestinal problems, then immediate intervention is necessary to determine the cause.
When it comes to childhood allergies, there are several signs and symptoms, such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Food allergies in children caused by dairy products often cause them to have stuffy or runny noses due to increased mucus production and restricted nasal passages. Additional allergic reactions in children include swelling and itching of the lips, mouth or tongue from citrus fruit or strawberries that leads to excessive saliva and drooling.
Parents can introduce solid foods one at a time while keeping records to notice changes in a child’s skin or breathing. Allergic reactions in children are frightening for parents unaware of the actions to take when a crisis occurs. The most severe reaction to a trigger food is anaphylactic shock or a sudden decrease in blood pressure leading to unconsciousness. This is a medical emergency that requires monitoring the child’s heartbeat and breathing and calling paramedics immediately. Having medications available to use quickly for childhood allergies caused by seeds, tree nuts and peanuts is the best plan of action.
Food allergies in children are caused by the body’s response to certain proteins. Medical researchers are still trying to understand why many children react to particular foods by experiencing respiratory distress or dermatitis. Parents may notice their child breaks out in hives or develops flatulence after consuming a food. An allergy specialist might perform a skin test with a numbered grid system and small injections to see allergic reactions in children. Avoiding foods that cause symptoms is usually the first recommendation from a physician specializing in allergies. Children can also wear medical alert jewelry and carry injectable epinephrine.
For more information about childhood allergies, or to speak to an expert food allergist, give our lovely staff at Asthma and Allergy Associates a call today! We are here to answer any and all questions you may have regarding allergies and your child.