Food allergies in children
Soy, shellfish, peanuts, eggs and milk are common food allergens in children. Because there’s no permanent fix for food allergies, parents need to supplement their child’s diet with vitamins and minerals. Cow’s milk allergies as well as peanut allergies, might only present when a child starts weaning off their milk and onto a more solid diet. Food allergies tend to have other family members with the same allergies.
What are the signs of food allergies in children?
Typically children who are exposed to food allergens break out in hives or wheezing. Food allergies can trigger other signs in the cardiovascular and respiratory system as well as the gastrointestinal tract.
Eczema is a condition that causes red, flaky and irritated skin. Atopic dermatitis occurs when the skin’s protective barrier weakens and becomes damaged as a result of your child’s exposure to allergens and irritants.
Other symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling and cramps
- Low blood pressure
- Tight sensation in the throat
What does the diagnosis involve?
A thorough history and examination to rule out any other causes for the symptoms.
Diagnostic tests include:
- Skin test: A skin test is the introduction of specific food extracts to the skin. When wheals (raised spots) form within ten minutes, it’s a sign that the child is sensitive to that particular food type.
- Blood test: Blood tests check for antibodies to food types.
What does treatment involve?
Dr Vahed formulates treatment plans to eliminate allergens and its sources from your child’s diet. Parents need to avoid allergens at all cost as most products contain common allergens like milk, soy, tree nuts and eggs. Dr Vahed will prescribe medication for severe symptoms of an allergic reaction. In some cases, children can carry an epinephrine auto-injector for emergencies. It's also crucial for children to wear a medical bracelet in case of an emergency.