Children love to eat. Sometimes, when they eat a particular food such as peanuts or shrimp, they may have an allergic reaction. So how do you know if your child is allergic to certain foods?
An allergy is when a child’s immune system thinks that a food that they have eaten is something that is undesirable, and should be attacked and destroyed. Undesirable symptoms may happen during an allergic reaction, such as coughing, wheezing, rashes, tummy aches, itching, burning, diarrhea, puffiness in the eyes, puffiness in the mouth and neck, and other irritations. If your child is having an allergic reaction, then you will probably notice that it happens right after eating something. If your child eats a lot of the food, then the reaction will probably be worse than if he only eats a small amount.
Foods that cause allergies tend to be repeat offenders in different children. For example, you have probably seen warnings on food labels concerning peanuts or byproducts of peanuts or other kinds of nuts. This is because a large number of allergies are caused by peanuts and other kinds of nuts. It is possible that your child could be allergic to milk and dairy products. This is not the same as being lactose intolerant. Being lactose intolerant means that your child has a hard time digesting milk, but your child’s immune system doesn’t attack it. If your child’s immune system tries to rid the body of what it perceives to be a foreign invader, then it is an allergy. Milk and eggs are used in so many foods that it can be difficult to pin down what food your child may be allergic to.
After a reaction, you may want to make a list of the ingredients in the food that was eaten. When you begin to see a pattern, then you can try to avoid that food in your child’s diet. If the child has no more allergic reaction symptoms after avoiding the food, then that is a pretty good indicator that your child may be allergic to that food.
Another thing you could do is to ask around in your family. Allergies can run in the family, so it may be a good idea to see if anybody in your family has suffered from a food allergy. If so, see if that particular food has been eaten by your child. Even if your child has eaten the food for years, it may surprise you to find that food allergies can change over the years. The immune system can develop an antibody to certain kinds of foods over time. So just because your child has eaten the food for years, don’t rule it out as the food that is causing the allergy.
Study about the various kinds of foods that are likely to cause allergies. If the symptoms are severe enough, then you will want to learn everything you can about food allergies. You can find many good books at the library, and you can read many good articles on the Internet.
If the symptoms are severe, and you can’t seem to figure out what is the cause of the allergy, take your child to have a visit with the pediatrician or to someone who specializes in allergies. Don’t play around; some allergies can cause reactions so severe that in some cases death can occur. The allergist or pediatrician can run some tests on the skin or use a sample of blood to see if allergies exist. If your doctor does find an allergy, then he will guide you to the proper steps to keep your child safe and healthy.
This article is not intended to replace consultation with a licensed medical practitioner.