Symptoms and Treatment Options for Babies with Food Allergies
Just like adults, babies can suffer from food allergies. You may first notice certain symptoms of infant allergies within the first few months of your child’s life. This can sometimes leave parents feeling helpless. Always stay in contact with your pediatrician and keep a close eye on your baby’s signs and symptoms.
It’s important to know what to look for and what you can do to help your child feel better when they have a formula allergy, infant food allergy, or baby food allergy. Once you know what triggers the condition, you can work towards a baby allergy treatment.
Who is Most Affected By Food Allergies?
A food allergy is the immune system’s response to eating something that doesn’t agree with it. Overall, infant allergies, just like those that affect older children and adults, appears shortly after the suspect food has been consumed. With this type of allergy, even a tiny amount of the food in question can push a baby into an allergy attack.
Overall, it is believed that three percent of adults suffer from food allergies and that six to eight percent of children younger than three are affected by food allergies as well. There is no cure for food allergies, but many babies and children outgrow the condition as they age.
It’s important to know that there is a difference between food allergies and food intolerance in babies. A food intolerance is less serious than an allergy, and the immune system is unaffected.
What Foods Cause Allergies in Babies?
There are over 160 foods that are known to potentially cause allergies. Some may be worse than others, but generally, there are eight key foods that are known to cause allergic reactions in both babies and adults alike. They include the following:
- Cow’s milk
- Tree nuts
Generally, around one in 20 babies suffer from some form of infant allergies. Knowing what can trigger their symptoms can help you identify what affects your child. When you know, you can work with your pediatrician or an allergist to take measures to help control your baby’s symptoms.
In many instances, a baby may suffer from a formula allergy or even have a reaction to breast milk, depending on what the mother consumed. A small percentage of what you eat can end up in your breast milk. Some babies will not react to certain proteins found in breast milk, while others only have an allergic reaction when they are directly fed a certain food.
Common Symptoms of Food Allergies in Babies
It’s important to know what signs and symptoms can lead to a baby food allergy or infant food allergy in your child. Certain symptoms are extremely common and can signify that your baby is sensitive to some types of food. They include the following:
Colic: Colic is a term that refers to a baby that cries repeatedly for at least three hours per day, three days per week, for at least three weeks, and cannot be consoled. However, pediatricians now believe that colic may be a sign that the baby suffers from acid reflux due to an allergy to cow’s milk. In this case, you may be directed to switch to a different baby formula.
Skin reactions: A baby with food allergies may display eczema, hives, or severe diaper rash. Breastfeeding may help reduce the signs of eczema.
Eye, nose, and ear symptoms: Babies can have runny noses, sneezing, chronic ear infections, and swollen or watery eyes with food allergies.
Stomach reactions: Babies with food allergies may suffer from abdominal pain, loose stool with mucus or blood present, and vomiting.
Anaphylaxis: In the most severe cases, a baby with food allergies may exhibit anaphylaxis and stop breathing, experience swelling of the face, mouth, tongue or throat, pale skin, and loss of consciousness. It’s essential to immediately call 911 if your baby experiences this type of reaction.
Baby Food Allergy Treatment
Baby allergy treatment involves a few options. They include the following:
Breastfeeding: Four to six months of breastfeeding can help prevent a cow’s milk allergy.
Avoiding triggers: Avoid feeding your baby anything that appears to trigger symptoms.
One percent hydrocortisone cream: Apply one percent hydrocortisone cream to the skin if your baby has hives, eczema, or a rash.
Change formula: Your pediatrician may recommend that you switch to a hypoallergenic baby formula.
Once you have more information on your baby’s food allergies, you can work with the doctor to treat them. You and your child will both be much happier for it.