Shellfish Allergyenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-shellfishAllergy-enHD-AR1.pngShellfish allergy can cause serious reactions. Find out common symptoms of allergic reactions and how to respond.shellfish, shrimp, seafood, crustaceans, crabs, lobsters, mollusks, clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, allergic reaction, allergy, food allergy, allergies, allergic to seafood, allergic to shellfish, seafood allergy, fish allergy, food allergy, food allergies, mollosks, molusks, allergic reactions, shellfish allergy, mussles, anaphylaxis, epi pen, epinephrine, kids and food allergies, kids and seafood allergies, kids and shellfish allergy, children with seafood allergies, children with shellfish allergies, teens with food allergies, CD1Gastroenterology, CD1Allergy, CD1Nutrition07/13/201211/07/201809/02/2019Stephen F. Dinetz, MD08/10/201806464a79-675d-4509-b7d4-e325bdb46264https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/shellfish-allergy.html/<h3>What Is a Shellfish Allergy?</h3> <p>A shellfish allergy is not exactly the same as a seafood allergy. Seafood includes fish (like tuna or cod) and shellfish (like lobster or clams). Even though they both fall into the category of &quot;seafood,&quot; fish and shellfish are biologically different. So fish will not cause an allergic reaction in someone with a shellfish allergy, unless that person also has a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fish-allergy.html/">fish allergy</a>.</p> <p>Shellfish fall into two different groups:</p> <ul> <li><strong>crustaceans</strong>, like shrimp, crab, or lobster</li> <li><strong>mollusks</strong>, like clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, octopus, or squid</li> </ul> <p>Some people with shellfish allergies are allergic to both groups, but some are allergic only to one.</p> <p>Most allergic reactions to shellfish happen when someone eats shellfish. But sometimes a person can react to touching shellfish or breathing in vapors from cooking shellfish.</p> <p>Shellfish allergy can develop at any age. Even people who have eaten shellfish in the past can develop an allergy. Some people outgrow certain food allergies over time, but those with shellfish allergies usually have the allergy for the rest of their lives.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of a Shellfish Allergy?</h3> <p>When someone is allergic to shellfish, the body's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/immune.html/">immune system</a>, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in the shellfish. Every time the person eats (or, in some cases, handles or breathes in) shellfish, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders and releases chemicals like histamine . This can cause symptoms such as:</p> <ul> <li>wheezing</li> <li>trouble breathing</li> <li>coughing</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>Allergic reactions to shellfish can differ. Sometimes the same person can react differently at different times. Some reactions can be very mild and involve only one system of the body, like hives on the skin. Other reactions can be more severe and involve more than one part of the body.</p> <p>Shellfish allergy can cause a severe reaction called <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 an Allergic Reaction to Shellfish Treated?</h3> <p>If your child has a shellfish allergy (or 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>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><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><strong>Every second counts in an allergic reaction.</strong> If your child starts having serious allergic symptoms, like swelling of the mouth or throat or difficulty breathing, 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 call 911 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> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <p>If <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-test.html/">allergy testing</a> shows that your child has a shellfish allergy, the doctor will give you guidelines on keeping your child safe. To prevent allergic reactions, your child must not eat shellfish. Your child also must not eat any foods that might contain shellfish as ingredients. Anyone who is sensitive to the smell of cooking shellfish should avoid restaurants and other areas where shellfish is being cooked.</p> <p>For 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>Always read <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/foodallergy-labels.html/">food labels</a> to see if a food contains shellfish. Manufacturers of foods sold in the United States must state whether foods contain any of the top eight most common allergens, including <strong>crustacean shellfish</strong>. The label should list &quot;shellfish&quot; in the ingredient list or say &quot;Contains shellfish&quot; after the list.</p> <p>Some foods look OK from the ingredient list, but while being made they can come in contact with fish. This is called <strong>cross-contamination</strong>. Look for advisory statements such as &quot;May contain fish,&quot; &quot;Processed in a facility that also processes fish,&quot; or &quot;Manufactured on equipment also used for fish.&quot; Not all companies label for cross-contamination, so if in doubt, call or email the company to be sure.</p> <p>Manufacturers also do not have to list <strong>mollusk shellfish ingredients</strong> because mollusk shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters, or scallops) are not considered a major food allergen. When labels say a food contains shellfish, they refer to crustacean shellfish. Contact the company to see about cross-contamination risk with mollusks.</p> <p>Cross-contamination often happens in restaurants. In kitchens, shellfish can get into a food product because the staff use the same surfaces, utensils (like knives, cutting boards, or pans), or oil to prepare both shellfish and other foods.</p> <p>This is particularly common in seafood restaurants, so some people find it safer to avoid these restaurants. Shellfish is also used in a lot of Asian cooking, so there's a risk of cross-contamination in Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, or Japanese restaurants. When eating at restaurants, it may be best to avoid fried foods because many places cook chicken, French fries, and shellfish in the same oil.</p> <p>When eating away from home, make sure you have an epinephrine auto-injector with you and that it hasn't expired. Also, tell the people preparing or serving your child's food about the shellfish allergy. Sometimes, you may want to bring food with you that you know is safe. Don't eat at the restaurant if the chef, manager, or owner seems uncomfortable with your request for a safe meal.</p> <p>Also talk to the staff at <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/school-foodallergy.html/">school</a> about cross-contamination risks for foods in the cafeteria. It may be best to pack lunches at home so you can control what's in them.</p> <p>Other things to keep in mind:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Make sure the epinephrine auto-injector is always on hand and that it is not expired.</li> <li>Don't feed your child cooked foods you didn't make yourself or anything with unknown ingredients.</li> <li>Tell everyone who handles the food — from relatives to restaurant staff — that your child has a shellfish allergy.</li> <li>Stay away from steam tables or stovetops when shellfish is cooked (especially places where food is cooked on a communal grill, like hibachi restaurants).</li> <li>Carry a personalized &quot;chef card&quot; for your child, which can be given to the kitchen staff. The card details your child's allergies for food preparers. Food allergy websites provide printable chef card forms in many different languages.</li> <li>Shellfish ingredients also might be used in some non-food products, like nutritional supplements, lip gloss, pet foods, and plant fertilizer. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about what is safe.</li> </ul>Alergia al mariscoLa alergia al marisco se puede desarrollar a cualquier edad. Incluso aquellas personas que previamente ingerían marisco sin problemas pueden desarrollar este tipo de alergia. Algunas personas acaban superando determinadas alergias alimentarias con paso del tiempo, pero las personas alérgicas al marisco suelen presentar esta afección hasta el final de sus días.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/shellfish-allergy-esp.html/ca89a826-beb1-4f08-9ef1-5189fad796e5
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 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
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
Figuring Out Food LabelsFind out how to make healthy food choices for your family by reading food labels.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/food-labels.html/9401fbd6-52f0-4a25-ab3e-56c1794d3350
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 AllergiesDoctors are diagnosing more and more people with food allergies. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with food allergies can make a big difference in preventing serious illness.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/food-allergies.html/7ffda401-6c59-4ba7-8874-76bf62352b0a
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
Food Allergies: How to CopeWith food allergies, preventing a reaction means avoiding that food entirely. But sometimes allergens can be hidden in places you don't expect. Here are tips on living with a food allergy.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/food-allergy-coping.html/99fe9b8e-5489-41f1-8843-84ef92b9335f
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
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
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 allergies can be serious - and shellfish can appear in some surprising foods and products. Read about shellfish allergy and what to do when a reaction is severe.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/teens/shellfish-allergy.html/f2074297-d11f-4812-a525-78622f20ed29
What Is Skin Testing for Allergies?A scratch or skin prick test is a common way doctors find out more about a person's allergies.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-test.html/cd2bf968-d812-40dd-bac5-23853e0f6291
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-allergykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-allergyCommon 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-9cd10af36de5https://kidshealth.org/EN/images/buttons/allergicReactionsInstructions_enBT.gif