Allergies can give someone a sleepless night especially when they affect our children. The experience has never been sweet and parents need to be careful about this. Of course, it’s the responsibility of the parents to care for their kids.
If you realize your kid has an allergic reaction, it is paramount to take the necessary action immediately. Food allergies can see your child getting skin rashes, breathing with difficulties, and sometimes stomachache due to accumulation of gases.
Unfortunately, some of us have no idea about food allergies in children. As a parent, you should understand what causes food allergies, how to prevent them, and how to detect when your children are predisposed to such allergies.
Causes of Food Allergies in Children.
At some point, it becomes hard to understand what brings about food allergies. Even doctors have failed to explain exactly why some children have food allergy reactions while others do not.
For those with allergic food reactions, their bodies treat specific food substances (especially proteins) as harmful and respond by producing IgE antibodies that in turn attack those food substances.
When you feed the child on the same food, the immune system reacts by releasing histamine because the antibodies are ready. The release of histamine and other chemicals into the kid’s bloodstream causes the symptoms of food allergies in your child.
The histamine produced by one’s immune system makes the skin swell and blood vessels expand. The skin also feels itchy because it affects the nerves. Your child might also produce more mucus from the nose. Such mucus makes the nose itchy and burning.
Factors that Predispose Children to Food Allergies.
Most of the health conditions and diseases are associated with certain predisposing factors. For food allergies, environmental factors and genetics are some of the predisposing factors.
Some of these genetic and environmental factors include hygiene, allergen avoidance, allergen exposure, nutritional immunomodulation, and other health conditions.
Research has found that some allergic food reactions are common in certain lineages. When children are fed hygienic food, they are less likely to experience allergic reactions. It’s possible that the kids react to the food contaminants and not the food they take.
When kids are exposed to allergens that either get to their bodies through the mouth or skin openings, they are likely to develop a stronger immunity than before. This means that their bodies won’t react adversely to them when consumed with food.
If you feed kids on stronger food, it improves their nutritional immunomodulation. Such children have lower chances of reacting to food allergy reactions.
Some disease conditions like diabetes are also likely to predispose children to food allergies. Though there is no proven evidence to show the relationship between the increase in obesity, diabetes, and food allergies. All are seen to be increasing despite the fact that the relationship between them remains unclear. Obesity induces systemic inflammation and this could cause immaturity to someone’s immune system.
Symptoms of Food Allergy in Children.
Allergies affect kids differently and therefore the symptoms can range from mild to severe. A child may not experience all the symptoms but if you notice one or more symptoms, seek medical attention. Here are the common signs and symptoms of food allergy:
- Tingling in the mouth.
- Facial swelling.
- Burning sensation in the mouth and lips.
- Skin rash (hives).
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Streaming eyes.
- A running nose.
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms in your children, it means they could be suffering from food allergies. It is good to take the kid to a pediatrician or an allergist who does some tests on them to ascertain this.
How to Prevent Food Allergies in Children.
We all want to see our children happy and energetic. However, food allergies will cause discomfort and suffering in kids. The best thing is for parents to prevent food allergies in their children. There are several food allergy prevention strategies parents can apply to keep their children healthy. These facts apply to individual children because each food allergy is unique depending on a child’s immune strength, genetic makeup, and living conditions.
Below are some guidelines to help parents prevent food allergies in their kids:
Breastfeeding the babies for the first six months before introducing them to solid food. Although scientists have not come up with evidence of how mother’s milk help in fighting allergies, it boosts a child’s immune system.
Wean the child onto an organic diet because they help to prevent food allergies and improve one’s immunity.
Avoid exposing your children to any pollutants in food. These are common in many workplaces and are known to cause allergies.
Avoid giving fatty foods to your children. If you need to give them oil, consider omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil). Ensure that you give them more fish oil than omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oil). You can put your kids on an omega-3 supplement because some children react to vegetable oils.
Feed your children adequate fruits and vegetables. These two contain vitamins C and E (antioxidants) which boost their immunity against allergies
A child’s health is paramount and parents have a key role in ensuring that kids aren’t exposed to factors that may lead to allergic reactions. If you suspect that there are pollutants in your workplace, it is good to always leave your kids at home.
Again you should be quick to note foods that cause allergic reactions to your children and seek medical attention when you note any abnormal reaction after feeding your kids on certain foods. You also need to feed your children healthy foods that keeps their immunity strong.
However, when your children show any signs or symptoms of food allergy, consult an allergist who will treat the condition immediately. At times, your children can develop severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) in response to foods like shellfish and peanuts. For example, a child might develop breathing problems after swallowing after eating something. You should call for emergency medical help right away.
Prevention is better than cure and therefore it’s good to prevent allergies than treat them when your children have already suffered.