Food allergy is hyper-sensitivity of our immune system against a particular food item. Usually all age groups may become affected by it, but infants are the most vulnerable because their immune systems are not highly developed. Almost six million kids have food allergies in the United States. An adverse allergic reaction may be the result of certain food allergens and must be prevented by the parents for their children.
Hence, parents are required to have comprehensive knowledge of various aspects of food allergy so that they may handle the critical situations quite sensibly. We are here with our guidelines to support parents to reduce developing food allergy in their babies. Let’s dive into.
The status of children with food allergies
A child with food allergy leads a life that is constantly on alert. All the time, they are given the reminders like, “Be watchful and careful.” Such kids are a cause of great concern for their parents. Sometimes, there results a very serious reaction like anaphylaxis because of a severe food allergy. It shatters the child’s breathing, causes the blood pressure to fluctuate, and can even sink his body into shock. Under such extreme symptoms, the victims are prescribed epinephrine.
Common allergy symptoms
Below are given common food allergy symptoms triggered by specific food items or allergens.
- Difficult breathing. Some children get severe respiratory infections and irritation.
- Running nose. The nose becomes red and always keeps running day and night.
- Itchy eyes. The child often feels irritation and demands rubbing his eyes too often.
- Skin rashes. There appear skin rashes at various spots or all over the body.
- Skin hives. The baby gets hives at various places and sometimes all over the body.
- Upset stomach. The stomach starts reacting and often remains lose and upset.
- Coughing. The baby gets coarse throat and feels phlegm upon his chest.
- Sneezing. There happens too much sneezing and the baby gets very much upset.
Common food allergens in children
Peanuts and milk are the most common food allergens in babies. These must be started at the age of 4 to 6 months to check if the baby is sensitive to them or not. The other food allergens that cause a lot of problems in infants are eggs, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts as walnuts, cashews, pecans, etc. Besides, shellfish such as shrimp, crab, lobster, and crayfish also prove very problematic in this regard.
What parents should do to deal with food allergies
1. Parents must be very much careful about the food allergies affecting their infants. They must take special care about how to keep them safe from these allergies. They must take steps that help reduce the development of food allergies in their kids.
2. First of all, they must try to introduce their infants to the food allergens such as peanuts, eggs, and cow milk at the age of 4 to 6 months. They should take crushed or powdered peanuts dissolved in warm water or milk in the form of a puree. They should offer it to their infant on spoon so that he/she may eat it with relish. They should wait for ten minutes before the second spoon to see how their baby responses to the first one. If all goes well, they should feed him the rest of the puree as well.
3. After the first complete serving of peanuts, parents should keep an observing eye on their infant for two hours to see an allergic reaction to take pace. If there result no signs of any sort of allergy, the parents must add this allergen to the regular diet of their infant to serve him 2 to 7 times a week.
4. The same should go in case of egg as well. It should be served in scrambled form and if once tolerated, it must become part and parcel of their infant’s diet. It must be given 2 to 5 times a week.
5. The rest of the food allergens should also be dealt with the same approach. All these food allergens must be served for several months. The infant will get and keep healthy and is likely never to develop food allergy to these allergens later in his life. Sustaining exposure to these allergens is as necessary as their early start in an infant’s life.
6. It must be noted that parents always need healthy resources and support from all the members of the family to implement these guidelines regarding food allergy prevention at home. They also need to be vigilant to consult with their pediatrician if they ever find their infant with any signs of food allergy.
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