Understanding Kids’ Food Allergies

understanding-kid-allergiesAbout three million kids in the United States have food allergies and diagnosis of food allergies is becoming increasingly common. Food allergies are increasing in prevalence, but physicians are recognizing allergy symptoms that they weren’t noticing before, too. Due to the increase in diagnosis, schools and other centers where children commonly eat have been changing the rules regarding very common allergens, but these changes are often misunderstood and greeted with anger by parents of children that do not have the same allergies. Key to conquering allergy issues so that all children can stay happy and comfortable is providing parents with a little more education about food allergies.

What is a Food Allergy?

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system makes a mistake and recognizes a harmless substance as something that is detrimental to the body. The immune system acts to make antibodies and take steps to shut down body systems in order to prevent harmful bacteria and viruses from causing damage. When a food allergy is present, the body recognizes the food allergen as toxic or harmful and the immune reaction begins. Allergic reactions may include nausea, vomiting, wheezing, stomach pain, hives, itchiness, and a runny nose.

Anaphylaxis Reaction

Anaphylaxis reactions are severe allergic reactions that involve many different parts of the child’s body, including the skin, respiratory system, and cardiovascular system. When these reactions occur the child’s tongue can swell, the blood pressure can drop, the breathing tubes can narrow, and the child’s life may be in danger. When children are at risk for this sort of reaction, parents need to put a plan in place, such as keeping medications around that will help to mitigate symptoms.

Common Food Allergies

Some of the most common food allergies result in reactions to:

  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Nuts
  • Seafood
  • Milk
  • Eggs

 

 

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