Food Allergiesenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-foodAllergies-enHD-AR1.gifFood allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions in kids, so it's important to know how to feed a child with food allergies and to prevent reactions.food allergy, food allergies, milk, soy, egg, shellfish, fish, nuts, peanuts, tree nuts, allergy, allergens, allergies, anaphylaxis, reactions, wheezing, inflammation, hives, emergency, emergencies, diagnosis, treatment, histamine, epipen, epinephrine, antihistamine, allergist, breastfeeding, eczema, asthma, schools, day-care centers, CD1Allergy, CD1Nutrition, CD1Allergy, CD1Nutrition, CD1Gastroenterology07/31/200008/15/201809/02/2019Stephen F. Dinetz, MD08/10/2018d3040abf-fd78-4aac-be4a-3f2dd59957efhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-allergies.html/<h3>What Are Food Allergies?</h3> <p>Milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish are among the most common foods that cause <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy.html/">allergies</a>.</p> <p>Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions. So it's important to know how to recognize an allergic reaction and to <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-emergency.html/">be prepared</a> if one happens.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of a Food Allergy?</h3> <p>With a food allergy, the body reacts as though that particular food product is harmful. As a result, the body's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/immune.html/">immune system</a> (which fights infection and disease) creates antibodies to fight the food allergen .</p> <p>Every time the person eats (or, in some cases, handles or breathes in) the food, the body releases chemicals like histamine . This triggers allergic symptoms that can affect the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lungs.html/">respiratory system</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/digestive.html/">gastrointestinal tract</a>, skin, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/heart.html/">cardiovascular system</a>.</p> <p>Symptoms can include:</p> <ul> <li>wheezing</li> <li>trouble breathing</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childs-cough.html/">coughing</a></li> <li>hoarseness</li> <li>throat tightness</li> <li>belly pain</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/vomit.html/">vomiting</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diarrhea.html/">diarrhea</a></li> <li>itchy, watery, or swollen eyes</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/hives.html/">hives</a></li> <li>red spots</li> <li>swelling</li> <li>a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness (passing out)</li> </ul> <p>People often confuse food allergies with <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-intolerance.html/">food intolerance</a> because of similar symptoms. The symptoms of food intolerance can include burping, indigestion, gas, loose stools, headaches, nervousness, or a feeling of being &quot;flushed.&quot; But food intolerance:</p> <ul> <li>doesn't involve the immune system</li> <li>can happen because a person can't digest a substance, such as lactose</li> <li>can be unpleasant but is rarely dangerous</li> </ul> <h3>What Are the Most Common Food Allergens?</h3> <p>A child could be allergic to any food, but these eight common allergens account for 90% of all reactions in kids:</p> <ol> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/milk-allergy.html/">milk</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/egg-allergy.html/">eggs</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nut-peanut-allergy.html/">peanuts</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/soy-allergy.html/">soy</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/wheat-allergy.html/">wheat</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nut-peanut-allergy.html/">tree nuts</a> (such as walnuts and cashews)</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fish-allergy.html/">fish</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shellfish-allergy.html/">shellfish</a> (such as shrimp)</li> </ol> <p>In general, most kids with food allergies outgrow them. Of those who are allergic to milk, about 80% will eventually outgrow the allergy. About two-thirds with allergies to eggs and about 80% with a wheat or soy allergy will outgrow those by the time they're 5 years old. Other food allergies may be harder to outgrow.</p> <h3>What Happens in a Food Allergy Reaction?</h3> <p>Food allergy reactions can vary from person to person. Sometimes the same person can react differently at different times. So it's very important to quickly identify and treat food allergy reactions.</p> <p>Reactions can:</p> <ul> <li>be very mild and only involve one part of the body, like hives on the skin</li> <li>be more severe and involve more than one part of the body</li> <li>happen within a few minutes or up to 2 hours after contact with the food</li> </ul> <p>Food allergy reactions can affect any of these four areas of the body:</p> <ol> <li><strong>skin:</strong> itchy red bumps (hives); <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eczema-atopic-dermatitis.html/">eczema</a>; redness and swelling of the face or extremities; itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, or mouth (skin reactions are the most common type of reaction)</li> <li><strong>gastrointestinal tract:</strong> belly pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea</li> <li><strong>respiratory system:</strong> runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath</li> <li><strong>cardiovascular system:</strong> lightheadedness or fainting</li> </ol> <p>Sometimes, an allergy can cause a severe reaction called&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anaphylaxis.html/">anaphylaxis</a></strong>, even if a previous reaction was mild. Anaphylaxis might start with some of the same symptoms as a less severe reaction, but can quickly get worse. The person may have trouble breathing or pass out. More than one part of the body might be involved. If it isn't treated, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.</p> <h3>How Is a Food Allergy Diagnosed?</h3> <p>If your child might have a food allergy, the doctor will ask about:</p> <ul> <li>your child's symptoms</li> <li>how often the reaction happens</li> <li>the time it takes between eating a particular food and the start of symptoms</li> <li>whether any family members have allergies or conditions like eczema and asthma</li> </ul> <p>The doctor will look for any other conditions that could cause the symptoms. For example, if your child seems to have diarrhea after drinking milk, the doctor may check to see if <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lactose.html/">lactose intolerance</a> could be the cause. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/celiac-disease.html/">Celiac disease</a> — a condition in which a person cannot tolerate the protein gluten — also can cause similar symptoms.</p> <p>The doctor might refer you to an allergist (allergy specialist doctor), who will ask more questions and do a physical exam. The allergist probably will order tests to help make a diagnosis, such as:</p> <ul> <li>a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-test.html/">skin test</a>. This test involves placing liquid extracts of food allergens on your child's forearm or back, pricking the skin, and waiting to see if reddish raised spots (called wheals) form within 15 minutes. A positive test to a food only shows that your child might be sensitive to that food.</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-immunoglobulins.html/">blood tests</a> to check the blood for IgE antibodies to specific foods</li> </ul> <p>If the test results are unclear, the allergist may do a <strong>food challenge:</strong></p> <ul> <li>During this test, a person slowly gets increasing amounts of the potential food allergen to eat while being watched for symptoms by the doctor. The test must be done in an allergist's office or hospital with access to immediate medical care and medicines because a life-threatening reaction could happen.</li> </ul> <p>More often, though, food challenge tests are done to see if people have outgrown an allergy.</p> <h3>How Are Food Allergies Treated?</h3> <p>If your child has a food allergy, the allergist will help you create a treatment plan. Treatment usually means avoiding the allergen and all the foods that contain it.</p> <p>You'll need to read <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-labels.html/">food labels</a> so you can avoid the allergen. Makers of foods sold in the United States must state whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soy.</p> <p>For more information on foods to avoid, check sites such as the <a href="http://www.foodallergy.org/">Food Allergy Research and Education network (FARE)</a>.</p> <p>There's no cure for food allergies. But medicines can treat both minor and severe symptoms. Antihistamines might be used to treat symptoms such as hives, runny nose, or belly pain from an allergic reaction.</p> <p>If your child has any kind of serious food allergy, the doctor will want him or her to carry an <strong>epinephrine auto-injector</strong> in case of an emergency.</p> <p>An epinephrine auto-injector is a prescription medicine that comes in a small, easy-to-carry container. It's easy to use. Your doctor will show you how. Kids who are old enough can be taught how to give themselves the injection. If they carry the epinephrine, it should be nearby, not left in a locker or in the nurse's office.</p> <p><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergic-reaction-sheet.html/" target="_blank"><img class="right" src="https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/allergicReactionsInstructions_enBT.gif" alt="Allergic Reaction Instruction Sheet" /></a></p> <p>Wherever your child is, caregivers should always know where the epinephrine is, have easy access to it, and know how to give the shot. Staff at your child's school should know about the allergy and have an action plan in place. Your child's medicines should be accessible at all times. Also consider having your child wear a medical alert bracelet.</p> <p>Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis that would require epinephrine include:</p> <ul> <li>hoarseness</li> <li>throat feels tight</li> <li>swelling in the mouth</li> <li>trouble breathing</li> <li>any symptoms from two or more body systems (skin, heart, lungs, etc.), such as hives and belly pain</li> <li>any other combination of two or more symptoms that affect different parts of the body</li> </ul> <p><strong>Every second counts in an allergic reaction.</strong> If your child starts having serious allergic symptoms, give the epinephrine auto-injector right away. Also give it right away if the symptoms involve two different parts of the body, like hives with vomiting. Then <strong>call 911</strong> and take your child to the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emergency-room.html/">emergency room</a>. Your child needs to be under medical supervision because even if the worst seems to have passed, a second wave of serious symptoms can happen.</p> <p>It's also a good idea to carry an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine for your child, as this can help treat mild allergy symptoms. Use antihistamines after — not as a replacement for — the epinephrine shot during life-threatening reactions.</p>Alergias alimentariasJunto con la leche, los huevos, la soja, el trigo, los frutos secos y el marisco, los cacahuetes forman parte del grupo de alimentos que provocan alergias alimentarias con más frecuencia.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/food-allergies-esp.html/368a0a1f-e9e5-4ec7-aa81-19f2fb5e214f
5 Ways to Be Prepared for an Allergy EmergencyQuick action is essential during a serious allergic reaction. It helps to remind yourself of action steps so they become second nature if there's an emergency. Here's what to do.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/allergy-emergency.html/d5aa4a48-7679-468c-8e87-905586a85181
5 Ways to Prepare for an Allergy EmergencyBeing prepared for an allergy emergency will help you, your child, and other caregivers respond in the event of a serious reaction.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-emergency.html/f317a282-5219-4284-a9f4-ee89d7e2a2a6
All About AllergiesMillions of Americans, including many kids, have an allergy. Find out how allergies are diagnosed and how to keep them under control.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy.html/50114e1e-94ae-48c1-8769-b59b60036096
Allergy ShotsMany kids battle allergies year-round, and some can't control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shots.html/560272a7-d80b-4017-979d-4a41bb4023ea
Allergy TestingDoctors use several different types of allergy tests, depending on what a person may be allergic to. Find out what to expect from allergy tests.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/allergy-tests.html/781afac6-a4a9-477f-a759-1cee604cebf5
Blood Test: Immunoglobulin E (IgE)The immunoglobulin E (IgE) blood test is often done as part of an initial screen for allergies. High IgE levels also may indicate a parasitic infection.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-immunoglobulin-e.html/f9a4baf1-88d9-420c-96c2-0395ea70c7d5
Egg AllergyBabies sometimes have an allergic reaction to eggs. If that happens, they can't eat eggs for a while. But the good news is that most kids outgrow this allergy by age 5.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/kids/egg-allergy.html/b0e15eab-3324-4c70-bcde-c10de5e1e322
First Aid: Allergic ReactionsAlthough most allergic reactions aren't serious, severe reactions can be life-threatening and can require immediate medical attention.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergic-reaction-sheet.html/59bcd54d-cee6-4f0d-a758-11b1b6c61608
Fish AllergyFish allergy can cause a serious reaction. Find out how to keep kids safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fish-allergy.html/d2260a2d-050c-4515-9837-b597fba91fdc
Food Allergies and Food SensitivitiesFind more than 30 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of food allergies in children.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/center/foodallergies-center.html/d3c22db3-bb92-40fb-ab56-d23fdaf053be
Food Allergies and TravelTaking precautions and carrying meds are just part of normal life for someone who has a food allergy. Here are some tips on how to make travel also feel perfectly routine.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/travel-allergies.html/5bc35b92-7b74-479e-bf6d-49bea8256851
Going to School With Food AllergiesWith preparation and education, a child with a food allergy can stay safe at school.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/school-foodallergy.html/ede8a68e-bbc1-4179-8d56-febaf2f3861e
Hives (Urticaria)Hives cause raised red bumps or welts on the skin. They're pretty common and usually not serious. Find out what to do about hives in this article for teens.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/hives.html/9ec00c5c-10d5-4e20-85ab-8ea267cf5389
How Do Doctors Test for Food Allergies?Find out what the experts have to say.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/allergy-tests.html/0605162e-bd9d-43e4-9d29-466f41555ece
If My Child Has Food Allergies, What Should I Look for When Reading Food Labels?Food labels can help you spot allergens your child must avoid. Find out more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/foodallergy-labels.html/4c35f0d8-01b4-40a0-97cc-10eefbbd5836
Milk AllergyMilk allergy can cause serious reactions. Find out how to keep kids safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/milkallergy.html/a274028b-e351-433f-9e76-c8803c909aa0
Milk Allergy in InfantsAlmost all infants are fussy at times. But some are very fussy because they have an allergy to the protein in cow's milk, which is the basis for most commercial baby formulas.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/milk-allergy.html/61e0a090-3b09-4e26-a53e-a0dc3945e818
My Friend Has a Food Allergy. How Can I Help?Although food allergies are more common than ever, people who have them may feel different or embarrassed. A good friend can really help.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/helping-allergies.html/e09de46a-f2ef-4a76-8511-3f7e24539b99
Nut and Peanut AllergyPeanuts are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn't imagine. Learn the facts on living with a nut or peanut allergy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/nut-allergy.html/225be78e-59aa-4b67-bb4b-782ec52be9a5
Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis)Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The good news is that when treated properly, anaphylaxis can be managed.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/anaphylaxis.html/3ff97505-24b8-4097-b943-4efa57931a0d
Shellfish AllergyShellfish allergy can cause serious reactions. Find out common symptoms of allergic reactions and how to respond.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shellfish-allergy.html/06464a79-675d-4509-b7d4-e325bdb46264
Soy AllergySoy is found in many foods and it's a common food allegy. Find out how to help kids with an allergy stay safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/soy-allergy.html/0af8f633-8034-45f9-90e1-0448e0be8c1c
Wheat AllergyWheat allergy can cause serious reactions. Find out how to help kids with an allergy stay safe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/wheat-allergy.html/2e52fe02-599f-480f-b022-dc360c4c27d5
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-allergykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-allergySpecial Dietary Needshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/dietary-needs/c64057a7-a2a9-4dac-a646-104e43dba152Common Food Allergieshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-allergies/common-allergies/04354ecf-8e26-4c5e-a226-8dee46fbfb67Allergies & the Immune Systemhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/medical/allergies/22d1d841-c54a-4649-872e-9cd10af36de5Feeding & Eatinghttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth/feeding/1300b225-a549-4965-b0de-343866c92c2cLiving With Food Allergieshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-allergies/coping-foodallergy/54430039-e3ae-4439-84b8-a68c55948955https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/allergicReactionsInstructions_enBT.gif