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Can Food Allergies in Children be Avoided?

It’s well known that asthma and allergies can run in the family. Children are more likely to develop their conditions if one parent has an allergy or both. Luckily, in some cases, parents can take steps that can delay or prevent asthma and allergies from developing. Keep reading to find out more!

Food Allergies vs. Intolerance

Food allergies can bring on a wave of problems and reactions, including hives, eczema, swelling, and other life-threatening reactions. Typically, food allergies are diagnosed in younger children, but allergies can also appear later on in life. Some common foods that trigger allergies include:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat
  • Shellfish
  • Fish

What many people don’t know is that rather than being allergic to a food, people are most likely intolerant to it. Being intolerant and allergic are two different things—when someone is allergic, the allergen causes a response in the immune system, whereas an intolerance causes a response in the digestive system. Some symptoms of food intolerance include:

  • Bloating
  • Excessive gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Runny nose

Preventing Newborn Allergies

It’s crucial to know that restricting a pregnant or breastfeeding mother’s diet to certain foods is not a recommended way to prevent a food allergy. Breastfeeding may be your best option if you are an expecting mother and looking for a way to nourish your baby without causing an allergic reaction. It strengthens your baby’s immune system and can also reduce early eczema and cow’s milk allergies.

Hydrolyzed infant formulas are available as hypoallergenic substitutes if you cannot breastfeed and are worried that your baby is at risk for food allergy. Once a child reaches an age where they can consume egg, nuts, and dairy products, the foods should gradually be introduced if less allergenic food is tolerable for them. Delaying the introduction of these foods can even increase the risk of developing allergies. If any mild to severe reactions occur, it’s best advised to see an allergist.

Environmental Allergies and Asthma

Pets and Animals

Pet and animal allergens are complicated, as studies have shown two different results. While some studies have shown that early exposure to pets puts children at risk of developing asthma or allergies, newer studies found the complete opposite. More recent studies also found that children raised on farms develop fewer allergies. Interesting statistic, right?

Dust Mites

Reducing contact with dust mites and airborne substances can help delay and prevent asthma and allergy-related symptoms. Parents must take necessary steps to keep their child safe, like frequently dusting and sweeping.

Tobacco Smoke

Exposure to tobacco smoke at a young age can put a child at risk for developing respiratory illnesses. Babies are more likely to begin wheezing when exposed to tobacco for a short

Next Steps

If you think your child has an allergy, it’s best to seek help from an allergist—a specialist who can diagnose and treat allergies and respiratory-related illnesses. No need to worry; allergy tests are safe and effective for kids of all ages. These tests will be the best indicator of what your child is and isn’t allergic to.

We Can Help

Allergies are more common in children than adults and can develop at any age. If your child is showing signs of allergies, it's crucial to see assistance from our team at Allergy Institute PC. Our allergists can determine what your child is allergic to and develop a treatment plan to help relieve symptoms and prevent reactions. We know you want the best for your child, which is why you need the best care.

Call our office today at (515) 619-5179 or visit our website to get started on a consultation request form.