BABIES & TODDLERS

Food allergies occur when the immune system becomes confused and considers harmless food proteins as harmful. This triggers a reaction which leads to the release of chemicals such as histamine. Histamine causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction like rash, itching, etc. Food allergies in babies and toddlers can be difficult to identify as babies and toddlers are unable to communicate anything much less symptoms of an allergy. 

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In babies and toddlers, peanuts are still the leading trigger of food allergies. However, other food allergy triggers in babies and toddlers include:

 

  • Eggs

  • Cow’s milk

  • Fish

  • Tree nuts (e.g., cashews, walnuts and almonds)

  • Shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster and shrimp)

  • Wheat

  • Soy

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Food allergies can be life-threatening. This means it is important to be aware of the likely symptoms of an allergy. The common symptoms of food allergy in babies and toddlers include:

 

  • Belly pain/ache

  • Diarrhoea

  • Coughing

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Swelling of the face, legs or arms

  • Hives or rash

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Red rash around the mouth

  • Difficult breathing, including wheezing

  • Eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis)

Some food allergies can have immediate symptoms whilst some can have delayed symptoms. Immediate symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheeze, itching and a rash or hives. Delayed symptoms include eczema, poor growth, reflux, swelling in the gut (stomach and intestines) leading to constipation and/or diarrhoea, frequent distress and crying. 

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