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I think my child has a food allergy, what should I do?

Child allergy

Have you ever wondered if you have a food allergy? If you have, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from food allergies and don’t even know it. The only way to find out for sure if you have a food allergy is to get tested.

Symptoms of food allergies include rash, swelling, trouble breathing and even in the most severe cases, death. However it is often difficult to get diagnosed with a food allergy before it happens and that is why getting diagnosed by a professional children’s food allergy specialist can be critical in understanding what the allergy is and how to treat or manage it.

Food allergies are especially hard to detect in children. As with an adult, they may not know they have a problem until they are sick and experience a reaction to an allergenic food. Many children won’t acknowledge they’re sick or have a problem with their diet and may also try to treat themselves by eating non-allergenic foods. For those reasons, it can be difficult to diagnose food allergies in children and only seeing a doctor will do if you suspect your child has a food allergy.

Photo by Simon Kadula on Unsplash

What are the symptoms of a food allergy?

The most common allergy symptoms are skin and respiratory issues. But allergy attacks can also cause swelling and cause your child to have trouble breathing as well as anaphylaxis, which is a severe response to certain foods and can be fatal. Knowing what to look for when allergic reactions occur is key for doctors who understand how to treat them effectively. 

Food Allergy Testing

The first step to diagnosing your child food allergy is 

performing food allergy testing to understand what foods, or food types cause the reaction. These tests can be done at home however the best route to understanding your child’s condition is seeing a children’s food allergy specialist like Seeing a doctor helps diagnose and treat these problems effectively. Plus, doctors can prescribe allergen-specific immunotherapy to help you overcome your allergy. 

There are a few different types of food allergy tests. The most common is a skin prick test. 

Skin prick tests are usually done by placing a drop of a suspected allergen on the skin and then pricking the skin with a needle. If you are allergic to the allergen, you will usually have a reaction within 15 minutes and will develop a raised, itchy bump on your skin. Blood tests are done by taking a sample of your blood and then testing it for the presence of antibodies to the allergen. Blood tests are usually more expensive and take longer to get results than skin prick tests.

If you think you may have a food allergy, it is important to see a professional children’s allergy specialist to get properly tested and diagnosed.

While your child having a food allergy can be distressing, having your child properly diagnosed can help to treat and manage their allergy and limit the impact it has on their day-today life.

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