You and your family are in a seafood restaurant and you are excited because your child is going to experience his first taste of shellfish – which is your favourite food. But as soon as he swallowed the first morsel, your child shows signs of agitation. His skin is turning red, and his mouth is swelling. Oh no!
What is happening?
The answer is your child is allergic to shellfish. Along with dairy, eggs, soy, fish, tree nuts and wheat, peanuts and shellfish are among the most common foods that cause allergies.
What is a food allergy?
When your child’s body fails to identify some food as a safe product to consume, it makes him naturally allergic to that specific food item. Here is how eatables can harm your kid’s body!
• Your child eats a food item for the first time and his body misunderstands it as a harmful substance
• Your child’s immune system now does its job and generates antibodies to fight the “allergen”, the substance in the food that triggers the allergy.
• The next time your child eats or even comes in contact with that food, his body releases chemicals, including histamine, to protect” itself.
• As a result, your child suffers an allergic reaction, which may range from moderate to life-threatening.
Symptoms of Food Allergy
In the course of raising your child, you will come to know what foods he is allergic to. Given below are certain signs and symptoms that food allergy can manifest:
• A runny nose
• Rashes on skin
• Throat or mouth tingling sensation
• Swelling of certain body parts
• Swelling of tongue
• Abdominal pain
• Wheezing or difficulty of breathing
• Comatose stage
Diagnosing Food Allergy
Most allergies manifest as soon as the food is introduced to the child; if you are worried if the next attack may happen in your absence and would like to be alert, your child can undergo an allergy test, which will list down all food and non-food items that your child may be allergic to. Please talk to your doctor for more information on where to take this test.
Treatment for Food Allergies
Treatment is usually administered by a health professional, it is best if you could rush your child to the hospital as soon as he shows allergic symptoms. Some allergies can be contained by self-administered a shot or a medicine; To know more, visit your child’s doctor, who is the best person to give you the right treatment options for your child’s allergy.
Teaching Your Child to Deal with Food Allergy
Food allergies are extremely serious. If you find your child allergic to any specific food, the initial step is to ensure that your child understands the severity of the situation and caution him to never eat or go near that food.
1. Drill into to your child to say No to that food, even if his friends tempt him or dare him.
2. Tell your child’s schoolteachers and everyone in your family/friends circle, so that they do not unknowingly expose your child to his allergic food.
3. In case accidents happen and your child unknowingly consumed the food, which is quite possible, teach your child how to deal with the situation.
4. In case if he has any allergic reaction when you are not present, teach him to tell the nearest adult to call you and get him to the hospital immediately.
Knowing about food allergies is very important for parents, as it will help them deal with emergencies and also chart a plan to manage their child’s dietary needs. We hope this article has helped you with a good perspective on this issue. All the best and take care!