Recognize and treat food allergies in children

Just like adults, even the youngest children can be affected by any allergy. In children, however, food triggers allergic reactions particularly frequently, in addition to pollen. Allergens in food are increasingly becoming a problem. Milk, nuts or eggs - here you can find out which triggers are particularly common in children and what to look out for.

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Why early diagnosis is important

Young children are often allergic to animal proteins such as cow's milk or chicken eggs. Soybeans and wheat also increasingly cause symptoms. In most cases, however, hypersensitivity to these foods disappears by itself 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.

The situation is more serious in the case of an allergy to nuts. Experts have observed an increase in the number of children affected in recent years.

Cashew, peanut 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 pose a danger. It is therefore absolutely advisable to follow up even the slightest suspicion of an allergy.

In addition, children of school age often develop allergies to seafood or fish. Similar to nuts, this is usually a persistent allergy. In adults, by the way, a food allergy usually occurs in the form of a cross-reaction, for example due to a pollen allergy. However, the symptoms of a cross allergy are in most cases weaker than those of a "real" food allergy.

Symptoms

  • Babies and toddlers often have to fight with reddened and inflamed skin areas, the so-called (atopic) neurodermatitis. The cause of the disturbed protective layer of the skin is not yet completely clear, but neurodermatitis can be the harbinger or sign of an allergy and should therefore be clarified in any case by a doctor.

  • In addition, symptoms such as burning or tingling mucous membranes, hives, swelling in the mouth and throat area or gastrointestinal complaints can also indicate a food allergy.

  • A rare allergic reaction, but the most dangerous, is anaphylactic shock. It is differentiated according to four degrees of severity and can be fatal in the worst cases. It is therefore highly recommended to be informed about the most important first aid measures.

Precaution and first aid

If your child is allergic to a certain food, it is especially important to inform the environment of your child about the exact allergies. In addition, they should also educate your child about it themselves appropriately - this can prevent incidents. In addition, all caregivers should know what to do if an allergic reaction does occur.

If an allergy is suspected, it should always be clarified with the help of an allergy test (skin test or blood test) and discussed with a doctor. Only when a diagnosis is available can you act accordingly and protect your child. However, it is not advisable to remove certain foods from the menu purely as a precautionary measure, because there is a risk of malnutrition.

If you notice symptoms and are unsure where they come from, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Approved

This article has been reviewed by unserem Medical-Team for accuracy of content.

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