Food Allergies in Children

Food Additive-Allergy-SymStudies show that food allergies are more common in young children than in adults. Your child has a greater risk for food allergies if it runs in the family and someone in the family seems to have been affected by allergies or allergy related conditions like asthma, eczema or food allergies.

Food allergies are often confused with food intolerance and food poisoning. But food allergies can have more harmful effects on the body than the temporary discomfort that food intolerance and food poisoning can cause.

Causes of food allergy in children:

Food allergy is caused when the immune system produces antibodies to fight the foods your body mistakes to be harmful. This is also known as sensitization and may not occur at the first instance but exposure to the same food again can cause the release of chemicals called histamines which can in turn produce a range of physical traces called allergic reactions.

Most common food allergens:

Food allergies are triggered due to an aversion with the contents of a food item. For example, children are allergic to the protein contents of foods like milk, eggs, etc. The food items that cause food allergy in children include the following:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Soyabean products
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts and/or tree nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Seeds

To know in detail about these common food allergies in children

Symptoms of food allergy in children:

The initial symptoms of food allergies in children include the swelling up of the tongue, throat and mouth. Other symptoms include the following:

  • Rashes on the skin accompanied with swelling and itching tendencies
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • A dripping nose
  • Breathing problems
  • Cramps
  • Coughing
  • Red and itchy eyes

Testing or Diagnosing for food allergies in children:

When the doctor suggests an allergy test for your child, you need to take your child to an allergy clinic. These tests will finally either confirm or negate the traces of any food allergy in your child. The relevant tests that can be carried out at this clinic are:

  • Elimination diet, which involves checking for allergic symptoms to a particular food item and then removing that food from the child diet.
  • Skin prick tests to check for an allergic reaction like a rash, redness or swelling on the region exposed to an allergen and then pricked or scratched for confirmation.
  • Blood tests to check for the presence of antibodies fighting against a particular food allergen.
  • Hair testing
  • Electro-acupuncture

Treatment options for food allergies in children:

Help your child fight allergic reactions with the availability of these treatment options at your command:

  • Eliminate allergy provoking foods from your child diet.
  • An antihistamine can be given to provide immediate relief from a mild allergic reaction.
  • For a severe allergic reaction, your doctor may suggest an adrenaline or epinephrine shot for your child.

Home remedies for treating food allergies in children:

Follow these tips to ease and comfort your child in case of an emergency.

  • Ensure that your doctor teaches you how to cope with your child allergic reactions.
  • Always carry a card carrying the details of your kids allergy symptoms and the necessary treatment.
  • Inform your child friends, teachers and other relatives about the foods he or she is allergic to and what are the available options to treat them.
  • Vitamin B5 gives immediate relief from allergic symptoms.
  • Castor oil mixed with half a cup of water, fruit or vegetable juice can prove effective for treating allergic reactions.
  • Lime juice, vegetable juice and bananas are also very effective for treating allergic symptoms.

Your child can have enough problems with eating and digestion in his or her initial growth years and eventually outgrow with them but ensure that your kid gets a healthy and nutritious diet always.