Children and Food Allergies

Food allergies may lead to serious and often critical reactions. When it comes to kids, the danger is even more pronounced since they are not cognizant enough to avoid certain foods and they can’t take care of themselves if they have an allergic reaction. Therefore, parents have more work to do to protect their kids from allergens.

Symptoms of allergic reactions in kids

When a child eats or breaths in food that they are allergic to, the body reacts in a manner similar to when a harmful substance is introduced into the body. The body produces and releases histamine, leading to reactions in the respiratory system, on the skin, and in the cardiovascular system. Warning signs of these reactions include breathing difficulty, coughing, wheezing, vomiting, skin inflammation; watery, itchy, or swollen eyes; stomach pain, and loss of consciousness.

Most common allergens

Nearly any food can cause a reaction in children. The following, however, are the most common and they are responsible for 90% of allergic reactions in children:

  • Peanuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Walnuts, cashews, and other tree nuts.
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Kids have been known to outgrow allergies and 80% of children with milk allergies become unaffected when they grow older. By the time they are 5 years old, 80% no longer show allergic reactions to wheat and soy, and 67% will no longer react to eggs.

Managing food allergies

Given their age, your child will not be able to tell you that they react to certain foods, so you need to be observant. Do they develop a rash often after eating certain foods? Does your child suffer from diarrhea after every meal that includes milk? If you have any suspicion at all, take the child to a pediatrician for an examination.

If you live in Houston, visit Pediatric Healthcare of Northwest Houston and receive consultation from pediatricians with extensive experience in managing food allergies in children. Call 281-655-1500 or 936-539-8190 for inquiries.

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