Food allergies have become more problematic in recent years as increasing numbers of individuals are diagnosed with them. Even children are frequently diagnosed with food allergies, with 1 in 13 children currently having this issue. In addition, almost half of children with food allergies have more than one allergy. As a parent, here are a few helpful tips when it comes to guarding what your child eats.
What Are the Most Common Food Allergies in Children?
Although peanut allergies may be the first problem that pops into your mind when you hear about food allergies, there are actually numerous foods and food groups that can cause problems for the littlest members of your household. The following are the primary concerning foods for children.
- Peanuts and tree nuts
- Fish and shellfish
All of these ingredients must be disclosed on food packaging, which can help you in making food choices for your household.
What Symptoms Should Parents Look for with Food Allergies?
You should know that while some children may be genuinely allergic to some foods, others just have a sensitivity to it. While an allergy creates a strong response, such as hives or swelling in the throat that leads to difficulty breathing, a sensitivity will probably only lead to discomfort. Keep an eye out for any of the following distressing signs of an allergic reaction, and consider emergency medical treatment for those that are life-threatening.
- Itchy skin and hives
- Red, itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
How Can Food Allergies Be Treated?
In the case of a life-threatening condition, emergency medical personnel may provide an epinephrine shot, which can aid in breathing. Other than emergency circumstances, the best treatment for a food allergy is complete avoidance of the food. However, because your child is not always under your direct supervision, you will need to notify the school and other households where your child spends time about which foods are and are not safe.