Food allergy baby what to do

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Exclusive breastfeeding or first baby formula is recommended for around the first 6 months of life.

If your baby has a cow’s milk allergy and is not being breastfed, talk to your GP about what helpful of formula to give your baby.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women don’t need to avoid foods that can trigger allergic reactions (including peanuts), unless you’re allergic to them.

If your baby already has an allergy such as a diagnosed food allergy or eczema, or if you own a family history of food allergies, eczema, asthma or hay-fever, you may need to be particularly careful when introducing foods, so talk to your GP or health visitor first.


How will I know if my kid has a food allergy?

An allergic reaction can consist of 1 or more of the following:

  1. itchy throat and tongue
  2. itchy skin or rash
  3. diarrhoea or vomiting
  4. wheezing and shortness of breath
  5. a cough
  6. runny or blocked nose
  7. swollen lips and throat
  8. sore, red and itchy eyes

In a few cases, foods can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that can be life-threatening.

Get medical advice if you ponder your kid is having an allergic reaction to a specific food.

Don’t be tempted to experiment by cutting out a major food, such as milk, because this could lead to your kid not getting the nutrients they need. Talk to your health visitor or GP, who may refer you to a registered dietitian.


Introducing foods that could trigger allergy

When you start introducing solid foods to your baby from around 6 months ancient, introduce the foods that can trigger allergic reactions one at a time and in extremely little amounts so that you can spot any reaction.

These foods are:

  1. nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
  2. seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
  3. cows’ milk
  4. foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
  5. eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
  6. shellfish (don’t serve raw or lightly cooked)
  7. soya
  8. fish

See more about foods to avoid giving babies and young children.

These foods can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby’s diet, just love any other foods.

Once introduced and if tolerated, these foods should become part of your baby’s usual diet to minimise the risk of allergy.

Evidence has shown that delaying the introduction of peanut and hen’s eggs beyond 6 to 12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy to these foods.

Lots of children outgrow their allergies to milk or eggs, but a peanut allergy is generally lifelong.

If your kid has a food allergy, read food labels carefully.

Avoid foods if you are not certain whether they contain the food your kid is allergic to.



What to Know

  1. Peanuts
  2. Tree Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios)
  3. Recognize food allergy symptoms
  4. Eggs
  5. Milk
  6. Wheat
  7. Fish
  8. Understand the difference between food allergies and food intolerances
  9. Soy
  10. Crustacean Shellfish (shrimp, crab and lobster)

Educating yourself in what to glance for and how to handle a child’s allergic reaction is key to easing anxiety around this topic.

You will soon feel empowered and prepared to react, if need be.

An allergic reaction to food occurs when the body’s immune system misinterprets or overreacts to a protein in food, identifying it as harmful or dangerous and triggering a protective response.

Any food has the potential to cause an allergic response and so far, over 160 foods own been identified! However, only these eight foods account for about 90% of every reactions:

  • Nausea
  • Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose
  • Eggs
  • Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
  • Soy
  • Hives (red spots that glance love mosquito bites)
  • Light-headedness
  • Milk
  • Peanuts
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cramping
  • Swelling to the lips and face
  • Repetitive coughing or wheezing
  • Fish
  • Tree Nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Throat tightness
  • Wheat
  • Crustacean Shellfish (shrimp, crab and lobster)
  • Pale skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

    Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen within seconds to minutes of exposure to an offending allergen. It can, among other things, cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair breathing. If your kid has known allergies, make certain you speak to your physician or allergist to get an emergency plan in put so that you are always prepared.

Also be aware that certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds, are common food allergy triggers and are considered major allergens in other countries.

How do you know if your kid has a food allergy?

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and/or the respiratory tract and can vary from person to person, and from incident to incident. It’s significant to know that a mild reaction can happen on one occasion and a severe reaction to the same food may happen on a subsequent occasion. This range of reactions may include:

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Nausea
  3. Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
  4. Throat tightness
  5. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose
  6. Cramping
  7. Loss of consciousness
  8. Hives (red spots that glance love mosquito bites)
  9. Swelling to the lips and face
  10. Diarrhea
  11. Pale skin
  12. Vomiting
  13. Light-headedness
  14. Repetitive coughing or wheezing
  15. Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

    Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen within seconds to minutes of exposure to an offending allergen. It can, among other things, cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair breathing. If your kid has known allergies, make certain you speak to your physician or allergist to get an emergency plan in put so that you are always prepared.

Know that food allergies and food intolerances are NOT the same. Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system and are not life-threatening. Instead, they represent a lack of a specific digestive enzyme that is required for a certain food. While intolerances are more likely to be transient than allergies, their symptoms can be more variable.

Sometimes the symptoms of an intolerance and of a true allergy can overlap (lactose intolerance and milk allergy being a perfect example – often confused but not one in the same), making a diagnosis more hard and motherhood more fraught. If you suspect your kid has a food intolerance, speak with your physician, and talk with a Happy Family Coach to get an individualized diet plan in place.

Also be aware that certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds, are common food allergy triggers and are considered major allergens in other countries.

How do you know if your kid has a food allergy?

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may involve the skin, the digestive system, the cardiovascular system, and/or the respiratory tract and can vary from person to person, and from incident to incident.

Food allergy baby what to do

It’s significant to know that a mild reaction can happen on one occasion and a severe reaction to the same food may happen on a subsequent occasion. This range of reactions may include:

  1. Difficulty breathing
  2. Nausea
  3. Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
  4. Throat tightness
  5. Sneezing, stuffy or runny nose
  6. Cramping
  7. Loss of consciousness
  8. Hives (red spots that glance love mosquito bites)
  9. Swelling to the lips and face
  10. Diarrhea
  11. Pale skin
  12. Vomiting
  13. Light-headedness
  14. Repetitive coughing or wheezing
  15. Anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical treatment.

    Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen within seconds to minutes of exposure to an offending allergen. It can, among other things, cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair breathing. If your kid has known allergies, make certain you speak to your physician or allergist to get an emergency plan in put so that you are always prepared.

Know that food allergies and food intolerances are NOT the same. Unlike food allergies, food intolerances do not involve the immune system and are not life-threatening.

Instead, they represent a lack of a specific digestive enzyme that is required for a certain food. While intolerances are more likely to be transient than allergies, their symptoms can be more variable.

Food allergy baby what to do

Sometimes the symptoms of an intolerance and of a true allergy can overlap (lactose intolerance and milk allergy being a perfect example – often confused but not one in the same), making a diagnosis more hard and motherhood more fraught. If you suspect your kid has a food intolerance, speak with your physician, and talk with a Happy Family Coach to get an individualized diet plan in place.


What to Do

Avoid any known food allergies

Thoroughly read food labels and ingredient list of products, avoid products inadequately label or that you suspect may contain an allergen your kid should avoid

Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction

Keep a food log

If you own a mother’s “sixth sense” that your baby or kid may be exhibiting signs and symptoms of an intolerance or allergy, start keeping a food log that includes the food(s), beverage(s), time and date of consumption, and any other exterior factors (like a new school or daycare, change of laundry detergent, soap, lotion, or other household products, smoke exposure etc.) that could be significant in explaining the reaction.

Be prepared to combat exposure to an allergen

If you or your kid has already been diagnosed with a food allergy, hold antihistamine and epinephrine (if prescribed by your physician) with you (or with your kid if she is away from you) at every times.

Speak with your pediatrician or allergist to own a plan of action in put should exposure to an allergen occur.

Consult your child’s doctor for support

If you suspect a food intolerance. If any signs or symptoms of a food allergy happen, consult with your child’s doctor for evaluation as soon as possible. And if your baby experiences any severe reactions (like difficulty breathing, swelling, severe vomiting or diarrhea), call 911 immediately.

Sources

Abrams, E.M., Becker A.B. Food introduction and allergy prevention in infants CMAJ.

2015 Nov 17; 187(17): 1297–1301.



Food additives and children

Food contains additives for numerous reasons, such as to preserve it, to help make it safe to eat for longer, and to give colour or texture.

All food additives go through strict safety testing before they can be used. Food labelling must clearly show additives in the list of ingredients, including their name or «E» number and their function, such as «colour» or «preservative».

A few people own adverse reactions to some food additives, love sulphites, but reactions to ordinary foods, such as milk or soya, are much more common.

Read more about food colours and hyperactivity.

Further information

Sheet final reviewed: 24 July 2018
Next review due: 24 July 2021

In July 2016, Natasha Ednan-Laperouse collapsed on a flight from London to Nice, suffering a fatal allergic reaction to a baguette bought from Pret a Manger. At an inquest, the court heard how Natasha, who was 15 and had multiple severe food allergies, had carefully checked the ingredients on the packet. Sesame seeds – which were in the bread dough, the family later found out – were not listed.

“It was their fault,” her dad Nadim said in a statement. “I was stunned that a large food company love Pret could mislabel a sandwich and this could cause my daughter to die.”

This horrifying case highlights how careful people with allergies need to be, as do the food companies – not least because allergies own been growing in prevalence in the past few decades.

“Food allergy is on the rise and has been for some time,” says Holly Shaw, nurse adviser for Allergy UK, a charity that supports people with allergies.

Children are more likely to be affected – between 6 and 8% of children are thought to own food allergies, compared with less than 3% of adults – but numbers are growing in westernised countries, as well as places such as China.

“Certainly, as a charity, we’ve seen an increase in the number of calls we get, from adults and parents of children with suspected or confirmed allergy,” says Shaw. Certain types of allergy are more common in childhood, such as cow’s milk or egg allergy but, she says: “It is possible at any point in life to develop an allergy to something previously tolerated.”

Stephen Till, professor of allergy at King’s College London and a consultant allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital believe, says that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system inappropriately recognises something foreign as a bug, and mounts an attack against it.

“You make antibodies which stick to your immune cells,” he says, “and when you get re-exposed at a later time to the allergen, those antibodies are already there and they trigger the immune cells to react.”

Allergies can own a huge impact on quality of life, and can, in rare cases such as that of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, be fatal. There is no cure for a food allergy, although there has been recent promising work involving the use of probiotics and drug treatments. The first trial dedicated to treating adults with peanut allergy is just starting at Guy’s hospital.

“There is a lot of work going on in prevention to better understand the weaning process, and there’s a lot of buzz around desensitisation,” says Adam Fox, consultant paediatric allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals.

Desensitisation is conducted by exposing the patient to minuscule, controlled amounts of the allergen. It’s an ongoing treatment though, rather than a cure. “When they stop having it regularly, they’re allergic again, it doesn’t change the underlying process.”

What we do know is that we are more allergic than ever. “If you ponder in terms of decades, are we seeing more food allergy now than we were 20 or 30 years ago? I ponder we can confidently tell yes,” says Fox. “If you glance at the research from the 1990s and early 2000s there is beautiful excellent data that the quantity of peanut allergy trebled in a extremely short period.”

There has also been an increase in the number of people with severe reactions showing up in hospital emergency departments.

In 2015-16, 4,482 people in England were admitted to A&E for anaphylactic shock (although not every of these will own been below to food allergy). This number has been climbing each year and it’s the same across Europe, the US and Australia, says Fox.

Why is there this rise in allergies? The truth is, nobody knows. Fox doesn’t believe it is below to better diagnosis. And it won’t be below to one single thing. There own been suggestions that it could be caused by reasons ranging from a lack of vitamin D to gut health and pollution. Weaning practices could also influence food allergy, he says.

Food allergy baby what to do

“If you introduce something much earlier into the diet, then you’re less likely to become allergic to it,” he says. A 2008 study found that the prevalence of peanut allergy in Jewish children in the UK, where the advice had been to avoid peanuts, was 10 times higher than that of children in Israel, where rates are low – there, babies are often given peanut snacks.

Should parents wean their babies earlier, and introduce foods such as peanuts? Fox says it’s a “minefield”, but he advises sticking to the Department of Health and World Health Organization’s line that promotes exclusive breastfeeding for six months before introducing other foods, “and to not delay the introduction of allergenic foods such as peanut and egg beyond that, as this may increase the risk of allergy, particularly in kids with eczema”.

(Fox says there is a direct relationship between a baby having eczema and the chances of them having a food allergy.)

The adults Till sees are those whose allergies started in childhood (people are more likely to grow out of milk or egg allergies, than peanut allergies, for instance) or those with allergy that started in adolescence or adulthood. Again, it is not clear why you can tolerate something every your life and then develop an allergy to it. It could be to do with our changing diets in recent decades.

“The commonest new onset severe food allergy I see is to shellfish, and particularly prawns,” says Till. “It’s my own observation that the types of food we eat has changed fairly a lot in recent decades as a result of changes in the food industry and supply chain.” He says we are now eating foods such as tiger prawns that we probably didn’t eat so often in the past.

He has started to see people with an allergy to lupin flour, which comes from a legume in the same family as peanuts, which is more commonly used in continental Europe but has been increasingly used in the UK.

Sesame – thought to own been the cause of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s reaction – is another growing allergen, thanks to its inclusion in products that are now mainstream, such as hummus. One problem with sesame, says Till, is: “It often doesn’t show up extremely well in our tests, so it can be hard to gauge just how allergic someone is to it.”

Fox says it’s significant to stress that deaths from food allergy are still rare. “Food allergy is not the leading cause of death of people with food allergies – it’s still a extremely remote risk,” says Fox.

“But of course you don’t desire to be that one who is incredibly unlucky, so it causes grand anxiety. The genuine challenge of managing kids with food allergy is it’s really hard to predict which of the children are going to own the bad reactions, so everybody has to act as if they might be that one.”

On Monday, based on a detailed review of every available evidence on the topic, the American Academy of Pediatrics published updated guidance on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the prevention of food allergies and other allergic conditions. The new guidelines continue to liberalize the introduction of what are thought to be highly allergenic foods such as peanuts, fish and milk.There is no convincing evidence that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods beyond 4 to 6 months of age works in preventing food allergies, the report says.

In addition, there is strong evidence that purposeful, early introduction of peanuts as early as 4 months may prevent the development of a peanut allergy in infants at high risk, defined in this report as those with a shut relative with a history of an allergic condition. «There is no reason to delay giving your baby foods that are thought of as allergens love peanut products, eggs or fish,» Dr. Scott Sicherer, a co-author of the report, said in a statement.

«These foods can be added to the diet early, just love foods that are not common allergens, love rice, fruits or vegetables.»The gastrointestinal tract is home to a unique set of immune system cells, and when these cells are given a taste of the allergenic proteins in diverse foods, they take up these proteins and become tolerant to them. Dr.

Food allergy baby what to do

David Stukus, a pediatric allergist and associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said that’s true «as endless as it’s introduced early and in an ongoing fashion,» meaning there is a critical window of time during which being introduced to these foods may lead the body to become tolerant. And early means as soon as 4 months to 6 months of age, said Stukus, who was not involved with the new guidelines.The report also looked at whether breastfeeding protects against eczema, wheezing, asthma and food allergies.

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first three to four months of life was found to be protective against eczema, the authors concluded. Any quantity of breastfeeding beyond that time, even if not exclusive, was found to be protective against wheezing in the first two years of life and asthma in the first five years and even later. The report says no conclusion could be made when it came to breastfeeding and its effect on the prevention of food allergies. No evidence was found that avoiding allergenic foods during pregnancy or during breastfeeding worked in the prevention of allergic conditions.

Neither did the use of special hydrolyzed formulas, even in kids who were at high risk. «I really appreciated the comprehensiveness of this clinical report,» said Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a general pediatrician and chief of digital innovation at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Swanson, who has endless advocated for the early introduction of a diversity of foods in young children, described feeling grateful for the guidance, given the ongoing changes in the understanding of allergy prevention. In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended delaying the introduction of cow’s milk until children were 1 year ancient, egg until 2 years and peanuts, tree nuts and fish until 3 years.

«Recommendations were to avoid allergenic foods until children were older,» Stukus said. «The thought process at the time was, well, if we avoid any exposure, maybe the allergic response won’t develop.»In 2008, after a review of the available literature, the organization issued a report saying there was no convincing evidence that delaying allergenic food introduction prevented food allergies. The report did not give specific guidance as to when these foods should be introduced. Almost 10 years later, after a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the academy recommended that babies at high risk of developing peanut allergies be introduced to peanuts as early as 4 months.

Infants considered at high risk included those with eczema and/or an egg allergy. This study — known as the Learning Early About Peanut or LEAP trial — showed that children at high risk of developing peanut allergies who are introduced to peanuts at 4 months to 6 months ancient had a significantly lower risk of developing a peanut allergy than those who waited until they were 5 years; 1.9% of the kids who had peanuts early developed an allergy, compared with 13.7% of the kids who waited. The LEAP trial formed the basis for Monday’s new recommendations, which urge the early introduction of peanut products in infants at high risk for allergies.But most babies are not at high risk, and peanuts are just one of the eight culprit foods; the others are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy and tree nuts, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The evidence for other foods and children

The latest report explains that the same mechanism that protects infants at high risk is likely to protect infants at low or standard risk of developing food allergies.

A study that examined these other foods, known as the Enquiring About Tolerance or EAT trial, recruited 1,303 3-month-olds and randomly assigned them to get six allergenic foods — peanut, cooked egg, cow’s milk, sesame, whitefish and wheat — at that age or to wait until 6 months. The team then measured whether these infants developed food allergies between 1 and 3 years ancient. Only 40% of parents were capable to hold up with the diverse food frequency that the study protocol recommended.

When researchers looked at the data from every of the children in the study, no difference was found in the rates of food allergies.

Food allergy baby what to do

When they looked at only the children whose parents had been capable to hold up with the foods, there was a significantreduction in peanut and egg allergies. «The EAT study provides some evidence but is less strong than the LEAP trial evidence,» said Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, pediatric allergist and chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Allergy and Immunology, comparing the trial that included the diverse foods to trial that involved peanuts. When the risk of an illness is relatively low, proving that it can be decreased even further is extremely hard, she added.

An significant takeaway from the trial is that introducing a variety of foods as early as 4 months is safe, Stukus explained. Overwhelmingly, the data is pointing toward the benefit of early food introduction, Swanson said. «I don’t desire kids to delay introduction. Stop medicalizing this and let babies eat,» she added.

The bottom line for parents

«It’s not just early introduction. It’s routine feeding. It’s habituating. We need to make a habit of eating extremely diverse foods,» Swanson said. «It’s a grand habit to own your whole life, because 50% of people who develop a food allergy develop it in adulthood.»In his practice, Stukus has started to recommend early introduction — between 4 and 6 months of age — of allergenic foods for every babies, no matter their individual risk.

He encourages parents to continue to give these foods several times a week for babies who are tolerating them. «I ponder the benefits far outweigh the risks in this situation,» he said. The most serious risk is anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. But in most young infants, Stukus explains, anaphylaxis manifests as vomiting and hives, without the difficulty breathing and the closing airways that can be seen in older children. Parents who spot vomiting or hives — especially together — should still seek medical attention. But pediatricians and parents same can relax assured that these foods can be introduced freely at home, reversing decades of fear in the introduction of new foods, he added.

«We come from a put of restriction and medicalization,» Swanson said. Pediatricians were strong in telling parents to be cautious, and now they must be strong in telling parents not to be cautious.

Food allergy baby what to do

«No, I don’t desire you to be cautious. In fact, waiting might cause harm,» she said.

If you ponder your kid is having an allergic reaction to a food, seek medical advice urgently as symptoms can worsen rapidly. If breathing is affected, call triple zero (000) and enquire for an ambulance.


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