Nutrition and Eating

Is My Child Having a Food Allergy Reaction?

John Markovich MD, a pediatrician at Group Health – Anderson, discusses common food allergies in children, recognizing symptoms of a food allergy reaction, and how to take action when one occurs.

Common Food Allergies in Children

“There are, really, eight major specific proteins that cause food allergies to break out in children,” Dr. Markovich explains. These proteins include:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Tree nuts
  • Peanuts

Symptoms of a Food Allergy Reaction

Typically, symptoms involve itchiness, hives or a regular rash, while gastrointestinal symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea or nausea. Dr. Markovich also points out more severe allergy reaction signs to be aware of. These include:

  • Lip swelling
  • Throat tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Drop in blood pressure

Allergic Reactions: Taking Action

When you notice any skin condition related to a food allergy, the first thing you should do is call your physician. They can help differentiate whether your child is experiencing a food allergy, or breaking out in a rash for a different medical reason.

“Obviously, if there are any signs of difficulty breathing, lip swelling or a severe reaction, you go to the emergency department immediately,” Dr. Markovich explains. In the meantime, he suggests giving your child Benadryl, known by its generic name as diphenhydramine.

“This is something we will recommend over the phone if there is a minor allergy or food allergy going on,” he says. “This basically helps shut down the histamine response a little bit until the child can be evaluated by a physician or can get to the local hospital.”

Tags Nutrition and Eating