Whether it is peanuts, cow’s milk, or strawberries – 8 to 10 % of all children are affected by food allergies. How do you recognize the symptoms of an allergy? Is it possible to be avoided or even cured? We have answers to 10 important questions about the most common food allergies in children.
10 Questions and Solutions about Food Allergies in Children
1. What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is a “disturbance” of the immune system. In the digestive tract, the nutrients (especially proteins) enter the bloodstream through the mucous membrane. The body can make mistakes in these proteins for intruders, triggering an uneven reaction: the allergy.
2. Can food allergies be prevented?
Not really. However, there are two ways in how parents could protect their children from allergies: One is that babies should be exposed to allergens as early as possible. The other says that this may happen later so that the body and the immune system are already stronger.
By the way, your diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding has no impact on the baby’s future allergies. If the possibilities are there for an allergy, it will probably show up sooner or later.
Are food allergies in children unavoidable? A little bit. But it is believed that a six-month breastfeeding period can reduce their occurrence.
3. Who can be allergic to foods?
As there is no miracle cure to avoid allergies, anyone can be met with this problem. However, food allergies are more common in people whose family has a history of asthma, hay fever, eczema, or other allergies.
4. What are the Symptoms of Food Allergies in Children?
A rash around the mouth or on the whole body, itching, nausea, diarrhea, a runny nose, a sore throat, watery eyes, swelling (especially on the face). Food allergies symptoms vary from a few minutes to a few days after eating food.
For this reason, when a baby’s diet is being expanded, it is recommended that new foods should be introduced at intervals to notice their effects.
If a child has a reaction immediately after eating a food, it is easier to suspect an allergy, especially in the (very rare) case of breathing difficulties or fainting.
In this case, you should go to the medical emergency as soon as possible: it may be anaphylaxis, the most severe form of allergy.
But there are also delayed reactions. This situation can be complicated often, the symptoms can be explained by diagnoses other than food allergy. So it is not exactly easy to determine an allergy.
5. What type of foods most frequently triggers allergies?
Theoretically, all foods can cause allergies, but in reality, these are the most common food allergies in children:
- Tropical fruits
- Wheat flour
6. My kids with food allergies – what to do?
The first step: Go to the baby doctor. If he also thinks it is an allergy, he will refer you and your child to an Allergic Specialist who will do skin and blood tests to identify the allergen.
Then they will omit the suspected foods from your diet and then reintroduce them – under medical supervision – to see if the symptoms reoccur. Then you will confirm whether your child is allergic to one or the other substance.
And another tip: Don’t forget to see the food labels that you buy from shops or on the Internet; you can make their tests at home and on your own. It is always better to consult a doctor.
7. What changes will I do if I notice the signs of food allergies in babies?
Everything depends on how allergic your child is. It is quite possible that a child who is allergic to eggs can eat a cake that contains eggs. Because eggs are processed, and they are not highly concentrated.
Other children who are allergic to peanuts, for example, react immediately to the smallest amount of the nut.
A tiny piece in the mouth is enough to cause severe symptoms of edema.
Listen to your doctor’s advice after the diagnosis and do not confirm on your own.
Especially buying certain foods may be complicated for you. But you have to learn quickly how to read the labels and which foods to avoid.
For example, whey is a dairy product, or the infamous ‘traces of nuts, which means that the product contains peanuts.
To know these foods or even traces of them, ask your doctor which products to avoid. It is also good to know that even in the supermarket; there are many product lines for allergy sufferers that are cheap.
In some situations, however, you will be forced to change your lifestyle. Restaurant visits and invitations to friends, birthday parties, or holidays.
If your children have a severe allergy, you will have to be alert around the clock and, above all.
Explain to your child why these dietary rules are essential and how to follow his or her diet.
8. My child has a food allergy: Can he or she eat at school?
Yes, your child can go to school and also to afternoon care, provided that both your child and the school are well informed about the allergy.
Your child should know exactly what he or she is allowed to eat and what he or she cannot eat. The school must also be informed and know what to do in case of an allergic reaction.
Moreover, classmates and their parents should also know about the allergy. Especially in the case of a nut allergy, those affected can react very quickly. It is very important that schoolmates do not bring any food containing nuts.
Depending on what your child is allergic to or how severe a reaction would be, it can be challenging to eat at school. Contamination through allergenic food is severe for large canteens to control.
It is best to find out directly from the school how the food is prepared or who the supplier of the food is.
9. Does a food allergy last the whole life?
It depends on the type of allergy! Many food allergies may go later in children: for milk and egg allergies, this is 90 percent of the case.
However, if your child cannot tolerate peanut products, there is only a 15 percent chance of a “cure”. Some allergies can also develop and take other forms like hay fever, asthma, etc.
If you notice any signs of food allergies, make sure he or she is under the care of an expert allergist who regularly assesses the development of his or her symptoms.
10. Is food intolerance the same as an allergy?
No, one has nothing to do with the other. Because food intolerance does not affect the immune system. The body does not reflect the food to be an intruder; it just cannot digest or digest it properly.
That is why intolerance rather manifests itself in flatulence, nausea, diarrhea, headaches..
Consult a doctor if you think your child is suffering from food intolerance.
He or she will find the food that is intolerant because, as with an allergy, a specific diet must be followed.
Source: Foods Allergies in Babies