Babies And Allergies
When adults have allergies, they can vocalize how they feel. Babies however are a different story. Allergy symptoms can appear to be a cold, but there are a few telltale signs that your baby needs to visit an allergist.
Frequent stomach problems—such as gas, cramping, bloating, vomiting— after eating a certain food could be a sign of a food allergy. Cow’s milk if a common food allergy, and it can be found in breast milk and formula. Your pediatrician will be able to determine if it’s an allergy or something else.
Once the baby starts eating solid foods, the more opportunities for food allergies can arise. While it’s rare, some children are allergic to gluten, fruit sugar, or table sugar.
A very small percentage of babies have full-blown food allergies that result in itching, rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. Foods that might cause this type of reaction include cow’s milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
Babies who are still nursing can be exposed to these foods if the mother includes them in her diet.
If you suspect your baby has a food allergy, your pediatrician will probably recommend eliminating certain foods from the baby’s diet to figure out exactly which food it is. A skin test, where an allergist pricks food-protein extracts into the child’s skin, is also a possibility.
If a child does have a food allergy, the good news is, most children grow out of them by age 5.
A child can also have nasal allergies from dust mites, animal dander, pollen, and mold. Signs of nasal allergies include cold-like symptoms that last longer than 10 days, clear mucus running from the nose, itchy or red eyes, mouth-breathing, skin rash, and/or a persistent dry cough.
Consult your pediatrician if you suspect your child has any allergies to get proper advice on how to comfort your child.
Thomas M. Andrews
Dr. Andrews specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders of children and adolescents. His accreditations include Florida State Medical License and Ohio State Medical License. He is also a board member of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery