Home » Conditions » Food Allergies in Children
A child’s body develops allergies to food when the body mistakenly recognizes the substances as harmful. The body’s immune system will begin to attack the food as an allergen, which triggers a chemical release of histamine. This histamine is what triggers the symptoms in the child’s body.
The signs and symptoms of food allergies in children can vary greatly depending on the child, their age, and the function of their body. Symptoms may range from mild to severe.
Mild symptoms can include:
Severe symptoms can include:
When an allergic reaction becomes severe, it is referred to as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can potentially be life-threatening. Several areas of the body may be affected, causing difficulty breathing. This requires immediate medical attention, and you should call 911.
90% of all reactions to food in children occur from these eight common allergens, but could be allergic to any number of foods:
Children who are allergic to milk, eggs, soy, and wheat may outgrow the allergy. Outgrowing a nut or seafood allergy is far less common. Infants who are breastfeeding may experience allergic reactions to the food ingested by the mother.
Positive Skin Prick Test (SPT)
In order to confirm a food allergy, your doctor may recommend additional testing which commonly includes:
Treating a food allergy may involve avoiding the foods that contain the allergen causing the reaction. Unfortunately, there is currently not a cure for food allergies.
Milder symptoms may be treated using:
You should speak with your child’s doctor about the best treatment methods for the child.
There are many steps you and your child can take to help manage your child’s food allergies. A successful management plan may include:
You should discuss developing an emergency plan for you and your child with your doctor.
Food allergies, over time, may lead to more serious gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. If you are concerned about the recurring symptoms your child is experiencing, you should discuss these with your doctor. Gastroenterologists are specially trained to identify, prevent, and treat gastrointestinal disorders.
Food intolerance and food allergies are often confused. They often have similar symptoms, but while food intolerance may cause discomfort, it will not trigger an immune response. Common symptoms of food intolerance may include:
Looking for a gastroenterologists to help you with your condition? Search through our list of vetted Gastroenologists and find a skilled provider in your area.