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Food Allergies: How To Protect Your Child

Food allergies are becoming more common, and many children are being affected by them. If you have a child with allergies, it is important to know more about them and how to protect your child. Here is a quick guide to help you learn more.

What Causes Food Allergies?

There are common allergies such as pollen, nut, or dust allergies, but any substance has the potential to be an allergen. Everyone’s body is unique, and their immune system decides what an allergen is and what is not. Some allergies can have very specific allergens that cause the reactions. 

Food allergies can be very dangerous, as they can cause swelling and inflammation in the throat which can restrict breathing. This makes the allergic reaction potentially life-threatening, and precautions must be made to ensure that a child with a food allergy is safe at home, at school, and when visiting friends and relatives.

Finding out which foods a child is allergic to can be difficult. By undergoing testing at the Children’s Allergy Doctors you and your child can discover which foods cause the allergic reaction and take steps to avoid them. You can also work with the doctors to decide how best to treat the allergy and what to do in the event of a reaction, whether severe or mild.

How Can I Protect My Child From Food Allergens?

For packaged foods, you can read the label. Potential allergens in food must be listed in the ingredients, and if allergens are present in the packaging facility that should be noted also.

Some soaps, washing powders, and even glues and adhesives can contain allergens. These should be listed on the container, but parents should take extra care with these products as it is not a legal requirement for them to do so.

When eating out at restaurants or takeaways, you should always make the staff fully aware of all allergies your child has. They should be able to provide you with safe meals. If you are eating out, it is a good idea to prepare for the worst

Take any medications you may need with you and ask your child to perform a ‘taste test’. They can take a small portion of the food and touch it with their lips. If any swelling or spots appear within a few minutes, it is a good sign that the food contains an allergen.

Can You Prevent A Child From Having Allergies?

Studies have shown that one of the benefits of breastfeeding a child for their first six months is a reduction in the chances of them developing an allergy. There is a link between breast milk and a healthy immune system in babies, and children fed exclusively on breast milk for their first six months have fewer allergies than those fed on formula milk.

When a child begins to eat solid food, introduce them slowly to different foods. Look for signs of discomfort or allergic reactions on the skin or lips to help identify food allergens early.

With the right precautions and a plan in place, you should be able to protect your child from food allergens. Always have medication handy in an emergency, and make sure teachers and parents of their friends know about your child’s allergies.