It is natural to have a lot of doubts and concerns about food allergies when you start feeding your baby solid foods for the first time. Food allergies affect a toddler's immune system and create antibodies to the food. This can cause serious and life-threatening health complications for the toddler. Therefore, parents should know about the foods that their children are allergic to. According to Dr. Swathi Reddy (PT), Consultant Physiotherapist and certified diet counsellor and MIAP, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru, food allergies are often genetic, and if a parent has a seasonal allergy, their kids will likely suffer from it as well. Fortunately, most children outgrow their food allergies with age. It is advised to introduce known family food allergies to baby as early as possible after 6 months while starting solids. If you are a new parent, you must read this article to understand all about food allergy in children.
What are some common food allergies in toddlers?
The most common foods that trigger an allergic reaction in toddlers include:
- milk (animal milk if started before one year of babies age)
If you see your child react to either of these foods, it could be a food allergy in toddler. It is important that you consult your paediatrician to find out if your child is allergic to that food item. Thereafter, you need to refrain giving that food to your baby.
How To Identify Food Allergy In Toddler?
Every parent is well aware that kids can be picky eaters, especially when it comes to green leafy vegetables and healthy foods. However, pickiness should not be confused with allergy. So how should parents identify if their toddler has a food allergy?
Unfortunately, most parents are unaware of their children's allergies unless they try the food and experience a big reaction. Henceforth, parents must always be alert for signs and symptoms of allergies whenever the toddler tries a new food for the first time. It is advised to introduce new foods in the morning time to rule out allergies.
Signs and symptoms of food allergies in toddlers
Allergic reactions can affect one or more parts of the toddler's body. Once the food is digested, the toddler may exhibit food allergy in toddler symptoms skin problems such as:
- red spots
- itchy bumps(hives).
- They may also experience runny nose, confessions, cough, tearing, redness, and itchiness around the eyes.
- Some food allergies directly affect the toddler's airway, causing shortness of breath, sneezing, wheezing, and chest tightness, making it difficult to breathe.
- Moreover, some other symptoms include abdominal pain, loss of consciousness, paleness, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and irregular heart rate.
Although toddlers may not fully share their signs and symptoms, it is the responsibility of the parents to understand how their child is feeling. If you feel baby is rubbing the mouth area too much or if you observe any redness in that area, make sure you rule out the cause for the same.
What to do after finding out about toddler's allergy?
If you observe signs of food allergy in your child, consult your paediatrician immediately and confirm whether your kid has a food allergy. The medical professional will be able to identify which food is causing the allergic reaction and also create a treatment plan. The best treatment for food allergies is to avoid the foods that cause them. Some other steps that you should take to prevent triggering food allergies in your toddlers is to read the ingredients of a food item carefully. If you are visiting a restaurant or a relative's place, make sure that they know the foods that your child cannot eat.
When should you seek emergency assistance?
It can be scary and stressful having a child with a food allergy. You need to be alert to keep an eye on the child's diet and always be prepared in case of an emergency. If the child consumes anything that contains allergy-triggering food, you should see immediate medical assistance. If your kid experiences unusual symptoms such as chest discomfort, coughing, unconsciousness, or difficulty swallowing after eating something, it may be possible that they are allergic to it. In such situations, contact your paediatrician or the nearest hospital for help.
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