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Child care: Dealing with food allergies

Children who have been diagnosed with food allergies usually have a number of varying symptoms. It is simply an immune system reaction upon ingestion of a particular food that occurs once it is eaten.

Even though food allergies are rare, milk and egg allergy are most prevalent among young children. Other causes of food allergies among children include eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, nuts, peanuts, wheat and soya.

Indications

Children with food allergies often have various symptoms such as the following:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting without evident reason
  • Severe eczema or skin rashes

    Food allergies
    Other causes of food allergies among children include eggs, milk, shellfish, fish, nuts, peanuts, wheat and soya.
  • Asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis (watery, itchy eyes or nose and a clogged nose)

How food allergies start

A hypersensitive reaction to a particular food is categorized as a type 1 allergic reaction to something in the diet. In this reaction, the immune system produces IgE antibodies as a response to a particular food that trigger the allergy symptoms.

These antibodies trigger the allergy symptoms. Only a few children experience the non-IgE immune reactions which causes severe feeding and digestive symptoms.

Actually, a small percentage of children suffer from food allergies and most are able to outgrow them before reaching 3 years old.

What should I do if a child is suspected with a food allergy?

The initial step is to consult a doctor first. The child should have a diet that will not result to malnutrition. If there is a change in the bowel movement of the child, it does not necessarily indicate a food allergy.

Remember that it is normal for the bowel movement to change if the diet of the child is changed. It is important to relax and do not assume that the child has an allergy until confirmed by an allergist.

Management of food allergies

In most cases, a diet that does not include the culprit food is the main treatment for this type of allergy.

In rare instances, consuming even a small amount of the food can trigger an anaphylactic shock that can result to collapse. This is a severe reaction that necessitates immediate treatment using epinephrine, thus call for emergency assistance if the child starts to have difficulty breathing.

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