Catching the symptoms of food allergies in children is not always straightforward. Since most parents and caregivers only become aware of a kid’s food allergy once they eat a certain food and have a reaction to it, it is important to recognize the signs when they happen.
Most food allergy symptoms are caused by the same 8 food groups: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy.
From moderate to severe, food allergy symptoms can include:
- Swelling of lips, tongue, or eyes
- Skin symptoms such as itchiness, rashes, or hives
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Hoarse voice, congestion, trouble swallowing
- Wheezing, breathing difficulties, dizziness, fainting
- Mood swings, confusion
- A severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can lead to a potentially fatal condition known as anaphylactic shock. It can occur within minutes or several hours after coming into contact with an allergen and is often caused by reactions to medication, food allergens or insect venom.
When children experience food allergy symptoms, they might have trouble articulating their symptoms and how they feel.
Examples for how children communicate their food allergy symptoms include:
- My mouth feels funny.
- My tongue/mouth is tingling.
- My tongue feels fuzzy.
- My lips/tongue/eyes are itchy.
- My throat feels funny/full/heavy.
- My lips feel tight.
- I think there is something stuck in my throat.
- Something is poking my tongue.
- My tummy hurts.
- I feel funny.
If the child is very young and cannot describe their symptoms as eloquently yet, it is possible that they will express their discomfort with gestures and change in behavior instead.
Examples for changed behavior include:
- They might start slurring their words
- Their voice might become hoarser of squeakier
- They might put their hands in their mouths
- They might scratch or pull at their tongues
If you suspect that your child is suffering from a food allergy, do not wait and consult your physician or allergist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Test for food allergies, cross-reactions, and more with the ALL Allergy Test and gain insight to your child’s Sensitization is the first step towards developing a type I allergy. Allergic reactions do not occur upon first contact with an allergen. Before that can happen, your immune system must be able to recognize an allergen. When you get stung by a bee, your immune system will remember the structure of the allergen (= a protein in the insect venom) to be able to produce IgE antibodies against it in the future. This process is called sensitization. status!