Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Babies. According to several studies, allergies in children have increased significantly: more and more children are susceptible and suffer from some type of allergy.
During the first three years of life, allergies that children develop more frequently are food allergies and, as they grow up, respiratory allergies may appear.
What causes allergies?
Allergens are substances that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Allergy occurs when these allergens are recognized by the child’s body as foreign or dangerous substances, although, for most people, they are harmless. Specifically, this function is carried out by the immune system, which is responsible for protecting it from diseases while identifying and eliminating infectious agents.
The type of allergic reaction that the creature can suffer will depend both on the allergen that causes it and on the affected organ.
What are the most frequent allergens?
Mites, molds, pollen and proteins that contain some foods tend to be substances that can often cause an allergic reaction. Some children may also have allergies to medications, insect bites or latex, among others.
Next we will discover the symptoms that each of the allergens tend to cause and some proposals to avoid them:
Mites: Mites are small insects that are found mainly in the dust of the home. They feed on dead cells -like the peeling of the skin of people or animals- and they usually live mainly on mattresses, pillows, sofas, etc.
Mites tend to cause respiratory allergies such as rhinitis, which causes sneezing, mucous discharge, congestion, nasal itching, etc.
If our child is allergic to dust mites, it will be convenient to avoid the excessive presence of objects or tissues that can accumulate dust and to use wet rags to clean them, because they prevent the dust from rising.
Molds: molds are allergens that are found mainly in humid environments or with organic matter, such as gardens. The main allergic reaction usually caused by molds is rhinoconjunctivitis: nasal congestion, sneezing, redness, itchy eyes, etc.
The use of dehumidifiers and ventilate the home daily -especially the areas where the greatest humidity is concentrated, such as the bathroom- will help us avoid the presence of molds.
Pollen: Pollen is a powder that is found in the flowers of plants and that we usually find in the air that surrounds us and that we breathe. People can be allergic to several types of pollen – pine, olives, etc. – Depending on weather conditions, the effect of pollen can be more or less strong for allergic people, mainly causing symptoms in the respiratory tract and in the eyes, like rhinoconjunctivitis.
To know the periods of greater concentration of the different types of pollen, we can consult the pollination calendars. It is difficult to avoid contact with pollen but certain measures can be taken. For example, if our child is allergic to a certain pollen and we know that we are in a time when it is present in the environment, we can avoid doing activities that remove the dust when it is present, such as sweeping the terrace; we can hang clothes outside to prevent the accumulation of this pollen that causes allergy or keep the windows closed during these periods of higher concentration of pollen in the atmosphere.
Food: Allergens are not foods by themselves, but the proteins that make them up. Allergic manifestations are usually produced when ingested, inhaled or maintained contact with food, with any of its components or derivatives.
Some of the main foods that become allergens are: cow’s milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, cereals and fruits.
Foods tend to produce allergies on the skin, such as hives -presence of red and inflamed papules on the body, which cause intense itching- or dermatitis -presence of blisters that tend to itch and generate a burning sensation, oozing, crusting or that cause peeling skin. Also, food can also cause respiratory allergies, such as rhinitis or asthma, causing several digestive discomforts, such as vomiting, colic, diarrhea, etc.
It is important that the creature does not consume and avoid contact with the food that causes allergy, as well as its derivatives.
In addition, as a preventive measure, it is recommended that family members or people in the closest environment know what foods could cause an allergic reaction to our child.
It should be borne in mind that a food allergy is not the same as an intolerance to certain foods because, although in some cases they may seem the same, the symptoms and consequences can be very different. Given the suspicion that our child may suffer from an allergy or food intolerance, it will be necessary to visit the doctor to be able to make an accurate diagnosis.
Dandruff and the scales that the animals shed when they shed their skin can turn into allergens, producing respiratory and ocular symptoms. Some of the most frequent symptoms are conjunctivitis and rhinitis. Despite this, they can also cause skin manifestations, such as rashes, inflammation, hives, etc.
If the child is allergic to animals, it is important to wash their hands after touching them. And if we have pets at home, we will prevent them from entering our son’s room, trying to ventilate the house frequently.
Anisakis: Anisakis is a frequent parasite in sea fish, especially hake, cod or anchovy, which can become an allergen and cause hives or digestive disorders, such as vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
You can avoid the parasite in the fish if you freeze it for 48 hours before consuming it.
Medications: some medications, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, can also become allergens. Sometimes the mild side effects of medications – such as nausea – can be confused with medication allergies.
The most frequent symptoms in allergic reactions by medications are those that manifest themselves on the skin, such as urticaria.
If our child is allergic to any medication, it will be included in his / her medical history, so the doctor will not prescribe it. Anyway, it is worth pointing out whenever it is considered appropriate (at school, when we buy some medication at the pharmacy, etc.).
Faced with an adverse reaction of the child as a result of a medication, we will stop administering it immediately and will go to the medical emergency service.
Insect bites: some insects, mainly bees and wasps, can inject toxic substances that become allergens for certain people. The most frequent allergies that cause the bites occur in the skin.
An insect bite is hard to avoid. So if that is the case, we will go quickly to the medical emergency service.
Latex: latex is a substance that is present in many of the objects that are used daily, such as bottle nipples or pacifiers, balloons or erasers. It is also present in objects for sanitary use, for example, in surgical gloves, which contain latex made up of proteins that become allergens for certain people.
The main symptom of latex allergy is usually dermatitis.
If our child is allergic to latex we must use substitute products that do not contain.
A serious symptom: Anaphylaxis
Apart from the various symptoms mentioned, the most dangerous symptom of an allergic reaction is anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis occurs immediately after the interaction with the allergen, altering the different organic systems – respiratory, cardiovascular and digestive system – and even producing several symptoms at the same time. A child who has anaphylaxis may show anxiety, severe shortness of breath, dizziness, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness.
If the allergy has been diagnosed previously considering that the child may suffer serious reactions, the medical professional, regardless of the timely treatment, will prescribe an autoinjector of adrenaline to carry it always on top. This device in the form of a ballpoint pen serves as a first aid measure against anaphylaxis: it should be administered immediately to the child when the allergic reaction is severe. In addition to the adrenaline injection, before an anaphylactic reaction our son will require immediate medical attention.
Allergens are part of children’s lives
In spite of taking the appropriate measures depending on the allergy that our child may suffer, sometimes the fear that we feel that the child has an allergic reaction (even that a child who has never had any type of allergy develop one) can make us limit their need to discover, touch, explore, or try to offer you so much security that we exceed hygiene.
Prevention measures should be applied, although children should be able to play with mud or animals, they should put things in their mouths and should touch food because this.