All about allergies (for parents)

Allergens in food are increasingly becoming a problem. Nuts, eggs or milk – here you can find out which triggers are particularly common in children and what needs to be considered.

Just like adults, even the youngest can be affected by any allergy. In addition to pollen, however, food can often trigger allergic reactions in children.

Why early diagnosis is important

Infants often react allergically to animal proteins such as cow’s milk or eggs. Soybeans and wheat also lead to increased symptoms. In most cases, however, hypersensitivity to these food disappears automatically at school age. Nevertheless, the triggers should be avoided in any case, since complaints such as abdominal pain or skin rashes in the form of swelling or redness can occur and are unpleasant to painful.

Even more serious is an allergy against nuts. Experts have identified an increase number of affected children in recent years. Cashew nuts, peanuts and other tree nuts can cause particularly severe allergic reactions. Since they have an extremely high allergy potential, even the smallest amounts can have severe consequences. Even traces on the skin or in the air can be dangerous.

Children of school age also frequently develop allergies to seafood or fish. Similar to nuts, this is usually a persistent allergy.  In adults, a food allergy usually occurs in the form of a cross–reaction, for example through a pollen allergy. However, the symptoms of a cross allergy are usually weaker than those of a “real” food allergy. Find out more here.

Symptoms

Babies and toddlers often struggle with reddened and inflamed skin, the so–called (atopic) neurodermatitis. The cause for the disturbed protective layer of the skin has not yet been fully clarified, but neurodermatitis can be a harbinger or sign of an allergy and should therefore always be clarified by a doctor. In addition, complaints such as burning or tingling mucous membranes, hives, swelling or gastrointestinal complaints can also indicate a food allergy.  A rare but most dangerous allergic reaction is the anaphylactic shock. It is classified into four degrees of severity and can be fatal in the worst case. It is therefore highly recommended to be informed about the most important first aid measures.

Overview

Prevention and first aid

If your child is allergic to a certain food, it is particularly important to inform your child’s environment about the exact allergies. You should also inform your child about the allergies yourself so that any incidents can be avoided. In addition, all carers should know what to do if an allergic reaction should occur.  If an allergy is suspected, it should always be checked with an allergy test (skin test or blood test) and discussed with a doctor. Only if a diagnosis is available you can act accordingly and protect your child.  However, it is not advisable to remove certain foods from the diet just as a precautionary measure. This could lead to malnutrition.  If you notice any symptoms and are unsure where they come from an allergy or not, you should talk to your doctor.

Are you unsure whether your child is allergic? Do the Allergy-Risk-Check now and receive a free assessment!

Medically reviewed

This article has been examined for medical correctness by Nora Zulehner, PhD.

Posted by Nicole Dopler on 8/8/2019

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