A 6-Year-Old Boy Presents With A High Fever A Headache Food Allergies in Babies and Toddlers

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Food Allergies in Babies and Toddlers

Allergies are common and can cause severe reactions. A baby’s digestive and immune systems need to be fully developed before solid foods are introduced. Introducing solids too early or potentially problematic foods can stress a baby’s immature systems. When introducing solid foods, you need to be aware of the possibility of allergic reactions. This article describes the symptoms of an allergic reaction and how to minimize it in your baby.

In recent years, people have become increasingly aware of the number of illnesses and complaints that the presence of allergies may cause or contribute to. Allergies are common. A conservative estimate is that 20 percent of people are allergic to something. However, when we consider minor allergies such as hay fever, mild eczema, and food intolerances, the true incidence of allergies and/or intolerances may be much higher. Changes in the Western diet over the past 100 to 200 years—particularly food refining, use of food additives, increased consumption of animal products, and the presence of environmental pollution—are thought to have largely contributed to the prevalence of all forms of allergic disease .

What is an allergy?

The word means “altered response,” and when an allergic person comes into contact with a substance to which they are sensitive, he or she typically develops physical symptoms (eg, headaches and migraines, vomiting, rashes, asthma). The substance that causes the reaction is called an allergen and can be house dust, dog or cat fur, food, chemicals or bacteria – just to name a few. In this article, we’re looking at food allergies.

For example, when solid foods are introduced, babies may have an “allergic reaction” to wheat and develop diarrhea, colic, tantrums, a runny nose, and even mild ear infections, asthma, or eczema. The cause of these symptoms is often unrecognized, and it may even be seen as a temporary infection if the problem is a runny nose or earache. The food in question will continue to be offered, and the infant will usually recover from acute symptoms, although persistent, relatively mild symptoms may be present. Symptoms appear at a later stage (days, months, years later) after an infection or stressful period, or simply due to a gradual inability to maintain health.

Symptoms usually disappear within three to five days if food is stopped, but sometimes, especially in children, it can take up to three weeks. There may also be significant withdrawal symptoms, which eventually go away.

When introducing new foods to infants and young children, you need to be aware of allergy symptoms. This is especially true when a parent or other family member has a food allergy.

What does a food allergy look like in a baby or toddler?

The symptoms associated with food allergy are numerous and can simulate a variety of different clinical situations. It depends on the baby or toddler. Some symptoms in infants and young children include:

  • itchy mouth and throat,
  • rashes, eczema and hives,
  • cramps and cramps,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • diarrhea or constipation,
  • wheezing, sneezing, runny nose,
  • unusual crying,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • ADHD, and
  • sleep disorder.

In extreme cases, children can develop a life-threatening condition called anaphylactic shock. Severe symptoms or reactions to any allergen require immediate medical attention.

What are the common causes of food allergies?

Foods most likely to cause allergies include:

  • Wheat, rye, oats, barley, maize (maize),
  • milk and other dairy products,
  • eggs and chicken,
  • cane and beet sugar,
  • fish and shellfish,
  • peanut,
  • coloring and preservatives,
  • yeast,
  • pork,
  • chocolate, and
  • citrus fruits.

what can you do?

As a parent, there are two things you can do to reduce your baby’s susceptibility to and lessen the severity of food allergies:

  • Wait until your baby is at least 6 months old before introducing solid foods.
  • Apply the 4-day waiting rule when introducing new foods to your baby.

Wait until baby is 6 months old

Babies are born without a mature digestive system, they cannot process food, and cannot digest food properly until their digestive system matures at 4 to 6 months of age. Until then, your baby should only be fed breast milk or formula. Waiting until your baby is 6 months old to give them solid foods will give them the best chance of actually digesting food, and smooth digestion reduces the risk of allergies.

4 day waiting rule

When you start feeding your baby solid foods, you need to make sure the food doesn’t cause a reaction. Sometimes, it may take three or four days for a reaction to appear.

Introduce one food at a time, then wait four days before introducing another.

It pays to keep a food diary, noting which foods are introduced and when. If your baby has a reaction, it could be from an infection, upset, wind, or something else, although it could actually be a food reaction, this information can be very valuable later. If you also notice when a particular problem starts, you can usually identify the problem food, exclude it from your baby’s diet, and have a healthy, happy baby.

If there is a family history of food intolerances, it is recommended that you avoid added milk or wheat until your baby is twelve months or older. (If you introduce the foods at all – but that’s another question.)

Allergies are common and can cause severe reactions. A baby’s digestive and immune systems need to be fully developed before solid foods are introduced. Introducing solids too early or potentially problematic foods can stress a baby’s immature systems. When introducing solid foods, you need to be aware of the possibility of an allergic reaction, and if you are concerned about an allergic reaction, stop feeding this food and give your baby more time to mature. While the above details are intended to be generally helpful and educational, they should not be construed as an alternative to the personal advice of a health professional. If your child’s allergic reaction is sudden, extreme, long-lasting, or not improving, you should seek professional help.

refer to

Bland, J. 1996, Contemporary Nutrition. J & B Associates.

Davies, S. and A. Stewart, 1997. Nutritional Medicine. pan.

Elliot, N. 2004, Greenpeace. Practical parenting.

Holden, S., Hudson, K., Tilman, J. & D. Wolf. 2003. The Ultimate Guide to Natural Health. Astrology publications.

Pressman, A. and S. Buff, 2000, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. (2nd Edition) Alpha Books.

Soothill, R. 1996. A guide to the selection of vitamins and minerals. Featured Books.

Sullivan, K. 2002, Vitamins and Minerals: A Practical Approach to Healthy Eating and Safe Supplementation. HarperCollins.

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