(KUTV) More than 5% of children have a food allergy which mean their immune system overreacts to a particular protein found in a specific food. For parents this means thinking about possible food allergies as soon as they start introducing sold foods to their child.
“If there’s any family history to a specific allergy, they should always be a little bit concerned about that,” says Dr. Alison McInturff, Pediatrician at Southridge Pediatrics at Intermountain Riverton Hospital.
The tendency to have an allergy runs in families, but it’s not always the same one. For example, if your mom is allergic to peanuts it doesn’t mean you will be, but you are more likely to be allergic to something.
The most common allergens come from 8 food groups:
You do not want to avoid these foods. Research suggests, you actually want to introduce these foods sooner rather than later.
“We think there’s this golden window when someone’s immune system is kind of more receptive to things in their environment and so you actually want to introduce those things are six months. The earlier you can do it, the more likely you are to prevent an allergy in the future,” says Dr. McInturff.
If you notice an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. Symptoms can present in a variety of ways, but the one that is most severe is anaphylaxis.
“You can get shock which is where you collapse, you become pale, and you have circulatory problems; but it could also be hives, lip, mouth, and tongue swelling, you could have vomiting and diarrhea or your kid might just not be acting normal, and all of those could be signs of anaphylaxis,” says Dr. McInturff.
As you are introducing solids, it’s a good idea to introduce foods one at a time so if your child does have an allergic reaction, you know which food to cut out.
The good news is that most kids will grow out of their allergies. The two that they tend not to are peanut allergies and seafood.
However, if you want to see if your child has grown out of an allergy, talk with your provider. After some blood tests and close monitoring, they might recommend doing an oral challenge in a controlled environment with an allergist and EpiPen on hand.