Children can be susceptible to allergic reactions from any type of food; however, there are some foods that account for a majority of food allergies in children. Especially when you start to introduce foods to kids at a young age, you should do so slowly and watch for symptoms that could indicate they are allergic.
Food Allergy Symptoms
When a child experiences an allergic reaction, generally they will show signs that their body does not like something they’ve either ingested or been exposed to. Food allergies can present themselves on the skin causing itchy bumps, redness, or swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, or limbs.
Skin reactions are the most common type of reaction to food allergies; however, stomach issues including pain, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting can occur along with respiratory issues, fainting, or feeling lightheaded.
Types of Allergic Reactions
Many allergic reactions are very mild in nature and only involve one part of the body – such as presenting hives on the skin. More severe reactions include multiple reactions affecting more than one part of the body.
Most allergic reactions to any type of food occur within minutes of consuming it but can take as long as two hours after contact with the food.
Most Common Food Allergies
There are nine different food allergies that account for 90% of allergic reactions in children. These include milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Many children that exhibit allergies to food early on, outgrow the allergy over time.
About 80% of children who are allergic to milk outgrow the allergy. Those allergic to soy and wheat generally outgrow any adverse reactions by the age of five, and two-thirds of children allergic to eggs will outgrow it. For other allergies, they may never outgrow them, or it could take well into adulthood or be a lifelong allergy.
Normally, food allergies are treated by avoiding the food they are allergic to altogether. Your doctor can determine which foods your child is allergic to, or confirm if you suspect that they are allergic to something.
Antihistamines can be used if your child experiences mild symptoms such as hives. For more severe reactions and serious food allergies, carrying an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency can save your child’s life.