How to Know If Your Kid Has a Food Allergy or Food Sensitivity

child eating

Kids can be picky when it comes to food, especially when it comes to vegetables. Most of the time, it could just be kids being kids, but sometimes it could be a food allergy. Unfortunately, parents, guardians, and people around a child would not easily know if the child has allergies to certain foods. That is until they witness the kid’s body reaction after eating their food. 

Waiting for this to happen is not exactly what you want. Allergies, especially if severe, can be life-threatening. As the child’s parent or guardian, you need to keep your eyes open on possible signs of allergies. To help you out, this article will tell you the essential information you need to know about food allergies. 

Defining Food Allergies

Food allergies occur when a body reacts as if the food is harmful. As a result, their immune system can create antibodies to fight off the allergen. Releasing these chemicals could trigger the allergic symptoms people experience, such as tightness in the throat, coughing, trouble breathing, wheezing, diarrhea, vomiting, and hives. The symptoms typically affect the skin, stomach, breathing, and circulation. 

Allergies can be incredibly diverse. The severity of their symptoms also varies from person to person, but certain foods are more likely to trigger allergies. These can include:

  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Tree Nuts
  • Milk
  • Eggs

It will be a good start if you observe your child whenever you serve these foods. However, keep in mind that allergic reactions are not only exclusive to the enumerated food. 

Food Allergy VS Food Sensitivity: What Is the Difference?

Food allergies and food sensitivity are two different things. Their main difference is the kind of reaction that the body produces and the severity that the feeling could get. 

When you have food allergies, it is your immune system that reacts. When you have food sensitivity, it is your digestive system that elicits a reaction. It means your body cannot properly process the food. 

As mentioned, food allergies can be life-threatening, although the effects can differ from person to person. On the other hand, food sensitivity’s symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, gas, bloating, headaches, and nervousness. 

Some of the common foods related to food sensitivity are the following:  

  • Dairy products
  • Gluten 
  • Caffeine
  • FODMAPs
  • Fructose, and more others

How Do Allergies Develop in Children

Research has shown that genetics and environmental factors may be behind food allergies, although there are no definite causes. If there are particular allergies that run in your family, you should beware of these foods and keep an eye on your kids’ reactions. 

How to Treat Allergies

Here are some solutions you can explore as soon as you notice potential allergic reactions in your child. 

  • Book an appointment with your pediatrician and inform them of your observations.
  • They would most likely recommend you to an allergist who can determine if your hunch is true. It will involve several tests to prove your suspicions. 
  • Always read the labels of the food your child eats and monitor them regularly.
  • Ask your pediatrician for medical solutions in case of emergency. They usually recommend antihistamines or epinephrine auto-injectors. 

Conclusion

People have no control over what causes allergic reactions. What you can only do as a parent is to be alert and ready when emergencies take place. You should also educate yourself about its possible symptoms and consequences. 

Should your child experience an allergic reaction and you need to bring them to a children’s urgent care, visit us at Your Kid’s Urgent Care. We offer superior and convenient urgent care pediatric services to any child brought to our doors. We offer various treatments for many conditions—allergies, stomach bugs, rushes, colds, and more. Contact us to

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