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Health Newsletters

Child Health » Kids and Food Allergies

Food allergies are common allergic reaction to food affecting about 6% of children. However, they are often misunderstood by most of the parents. Kids can be allergic to any food ingredient and even a slightest amount of that in the food can make the child sick.

It should be noted that food allergy is different from food intolerance. Food allergy also known as hypersensitivity is an abnormal response to a food triggered by the immune system of the body. Food intolerance does not involve immune system. People suffering from food intolerance often have gas, bloating or unpleasant reaction to the food they eat.

Kids are often allergic to the following foods:

   • Nuts (especially peanuts)
   • Sea foods (such as shrimp)
   • Milk (particularly cow’s milk)
   • Eggs
   • Soy
   • Wheat

Children suffering with food allergy can develop the symptoms within minutes to hours after the consumption of the allergic food. These symptoms may vary from mild to severe depending upon the quantity of the food ingested. Food allergy reaction can affect any of the following areas of the body:

Skin: hives, eczema; redness and swelling of the face; itching or swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth.

Gastrointestinal tract: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Respiratory tract: runny or stuffy nose; sneezing, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath.

Cardiovascular system: lightheadedness; fainting.

There are no special medicines for food allergies. Some can be outgrown while others prevail for whole life. The best treatment is simply to avoid the food itself and foods or drinks that contain that specific allergen food particle.

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