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How To Handle Food Allergies In Children

Feb 5, 2008
Nobody likes battling with allergies. While these can be extremely irritating, allergy sufferers have it even worse if they are allergic to foods and food by products. It is especially hard for parents to know what types of food allergies their children have developed. Usually, by the time parents find out, their child has already experienced a bad reaction.

Food allergies are different from food sensitivities, but both take place in the immune system. Food allergies cause life threatening reactions because the immune system has to attack the food as soon as it enters the body or bloodstream.

The antibody, IgE is found in the immune system. This antibody goes right to action by bonding with the protein of the food that an individual is allergic to. When these IgE proteins build up, the body releases chemicals that cause a variety of reactions. These include: itching, fever, swelling, trouble breathing, vomiting and may even cause certain body system functions to shut down.

Food allergies typically appear when a child is very young. Most children will show signs of food allergies before they are three years old. If a child has not been exposed to a certain food there is a great chance that an allergy will show up later in life once he or she has been introduced to that food.

More than ninety percent of all food allergies in children come from the following foods: eggs, milk, wheat, nuts, and soy products.

There is a considerable difference between having sensitivities to certain foods and being allergic to certain foods. Those who merely have sensitivities to certain foods will experience allergy-like reactions long after eating the food in question. Many times, there is a lapse of at least two hours before the reaction occurs.

Those suffering from a true food allergy experience the effects immediately. These troublesome reactions occur each and every time the food is consumed. There is a chance that some allergies will be outgrown if they are avoided early in life, but many children will remain allergic to the food in question for the rest of their lives.

If you are wondering whether your child has an allergy to food it is important to have an allergy skin test performed. The results will indicate all potential allergens and put to rest any doubts you may have had. Once your child is diagnosed, you must be sure to let all caretakers, friends and family members know. It is also crucial to teach your child to always ask and find out what is in their food. The simplest way to conquer food allergies is by avoiding the foods altogether.

It is practically impossible to keep your child away from potentially dangerous foods all the time. The most common allergens are usually found on food labels to warn consumers. While this is very helpful, many children do not know how to read labels and may grab a snack without realizing what is actually in it.

Since food allergy reactions can become life-threatening, make sure to always have an Epi-pen around. An Epi-pen can stave off dangerous reactions until professional help arrives. Once the Epi-pen is administered, call 911 to get your child proper medical attention.
About the Author
Author Frank J.Senturi has been researching and reporting on health related topics for many years. You can get more tips and advice on allergic reactions as well as on many other related subjects at his web site.
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