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Food allergies are some of the most common allergies in children under the age of three. They are seen in about 5% of children younger than 5 years old. Food allergies often get in the way of healthy growth, as a child may not eat properly, throw up, or have diarrhoea. Hence, parents should be quick on their toes and know the ways to prevent food allergies in babies.
An allergic reaction is the body’s defence against something that may cause harm. A food allergy occurs when the body believes a certain food item (allergen) may cause harm and produces special antibodies to destroy the allergen. When an allergen is ingested, the body releases histamine, a chemical that causes allergic symptoms.
Although dining outside may seem difficult if your baby has a food allergy, it can be managed. Let the restaurant staff know about your child’s allergy and check all the ingredients used in a dish before you order it. Avoid fried foods as the restaurant may have used the same oil to fry different foods.
Additionally, avoiding buffet restaurants is the best way to prevent food allergies in babies due to cross-contamination between food items. You may also use a food allergy card to give to the staff. This card states what your child is allergic to and has some basic reminders to wash all the utensils properly before preparing your child’s food.
You should always read the packet labels before you buy any food packets. Most food packets should state if they contain any of the common allergens. Keep antihistamines with you at all times to help control mild allergy symptoms, and you may need an epinephrine auto-injector for serious allergic reactions if your child has had a severe allergic reaction in the past. Keeping keen with these tips is a great way to prevent food allergies in babies. Always make sure to consult your doctor before using any of them, though.
In some children, the doctor may reintroduce the food items they are allergic to after about 3 to 6 months to see if they have outgrown the allergy. It has been observed that some children, at about three to four years of age, can tolerate the foods they were allergic to earlier.
Some of the symptoms include:
Children sometimes outgrow their allergies by the age of 5 years. The allergies that children mostly outgrow are milk, eggs, wheat, and soy allergies. However, children may not outgrow allergies to other foods.
The best way to prevent an allergy is to be careful about what your child eats and avoid foods that can cause an allergic reaction. Keeping emergency medication on hand is essential. Just remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.
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