This is a Guest Post
Allergies are being linked to an increasing number of health conditions including autoimmune diseases, depression, migraines and asthma. It has become increasingly important to identify and treat food allergies in children as potentially fatal food allergies resulting in anaphylaxis have increased.
Common Symptoms of Food Allergies:
• Itching and skin irritation
• Runny nose
• Red, puffy, sore and itchy eyes
• Heavy deep coughing
• Swelling and itching of the mouth, lips, throat and tongue
• Shortness of breath
• Wheezing, breathing difficulty
• Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
Understanding the symptoms, and they will typically seem to be unusual, will make them easier to identify. When parents recognize the symptoms they can take action quickly, whether it is getting their child to the doctor or the hospital based on the severity of the reaction. It is important to remember that time is an issue, and you might not have a lot of it to get treatment in.
Common Allergy Foods
Some foods are commonly associated with allergies including peanuts (legumes) and a wide variety of nuts that include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, Brazil and macadamia nuts. Eggs, milk, wheat and so-ya flour, shellfish, fish and shrimp are all common causes of allergies.
Children that are allergic to one type of food may also have reactions to other foods. You can be prepared if your child has an allergic reaction when you know what to look for.
Giving a child even small amounts of the food they are allergic to could be fatal. Learning to read labels to identify a potential allergen and learning the alternative names for foods that cause allergies.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires the top eight allergy causing foods to be clearly listed in bold print on labels. There are still allergy causing foods that are not listed on the labels in bold print. It is important to read the entire label paying special attention to highlighted, bold and obvious ingredients.
It is also important to pay attention to whether or not the label states that traces of allergy causing foods may be present or if the food was manufactured in a facility that also handles allergy-causing foods. Keeping a list of food categories and alternative names for them will make it easier to identify allergy-causing foods listed on the label.
Making others aware of your child’s allergies will make it easier for you to protect them from having an allergic reaction. Finding alternatives to the allergy causing ingredients in their favorite foods may take some time but it is worth it for your peace of mind.
Products that say dairy free are not always milk free, or casein free. Casein is the protein in milk that results in the allergic reaction. Allergy free foods are easier to find when you look for unprocessed foods that do not have artificial flavorings or colorings in them. It is important to keep your child’s allergy medication and or an EPI pen close by in case they accidentally consume one of the allergy causing foods.
Tammy Mahan has been a nurse for over 20 years. In her free time, she enjoys sharing her knowledge with Healthline.Com.