When one night my daughter woke up with welts all over her body, I honestly didn’t know what to do. I rubbed the poor child down with Calamine lotion and eventually it subsided.
So I figured okay that was a one time occurrence, the next night at 1am I hear the poor child screaming, only to realize she was all welted up again. So I applied more of the “horrific” pink stuff.
I hadn’t changed her diet, we were in the same house, so there was no real change of environment and here she is with these crazy allergic reactions.
If you are a parent and experienced your child going through the dreaded allergies, it can be super scary, as you don’t know if it will worsen, cause them to stop breathing, or cause the poor things to die.
Of course I took my little princes to the Doctor, well one, and then another, and another and another. Tried several remedies, various allergy tests and array of treatments.
So while we may not be medical practitioners, I am a parent that cares, so be that as it may, here's some info we would like to share:
A food allergy is an adverse response to the proteins in certain foods. The body’s immune system mistakenly identifies these proteins as harmful and immediately reacts by producing antibodies that fight against the problem (imagine tossing a piece of meat to hungry lions-that is your child’s body responding to the trigger food). Chemicals such as histamines are released that cause allergic symptoms like pesky runny eyes and nose, vomiting and skin rashes.
What should I look for?
Good question. The allergies will vary in severity and some may even be intolerances (marked by digestive problems and doesn’t occur as speedily as an allergic reaction). However, some common symptoms to look out for are:
- severe stomach symptoms,
- Swelling of the throat and mouth which causes difficulty in swallowing and speaking.
Along with these symptoms be sure to pay attention to some pretty common foods that are especially common allergens such as:
- nuts (peanuts)
- seafood (shellfish)
How exactly will my child react?
There are actually 3 categories of reactions with the latter category the most severe:
• Immediate reaction (IgE): the allergic symptoms develop quickly, usually within an hour of eating the trigger food. The symptoms may vary in severity, from skin rashes to life threatening anaphylaxis (this is a no no). The reaction is often localized to the lips and the face.
• Delayed Response (Non- IgE): these responses are harder to spot because the symptoms do not emerge until hours or even days after eating the trigger food. The severity of the reaction is directly related to the amount of food that is consumed and it results in eczema and constipation.
• Anaphylactic Shock: this is the most severe and extreme allergic reaction. The body produces large amounts of histamine and other chemicals in response to the allergen and this causes the body to go into shock. The whole body is affected within minutes of exposure. Usually, all it takes is a tiny amount of the trigger food or even just touching the food to cause an anaphylactic shock. Foods such as peanuts and other nuts, sesame, milk, fish and eggs are the most common triggers.
It helps to speak to your child’s pediatrician or general practitioner in conjunction with a nutritionist or dietitian in order find out what your child maybe allergic to and how best you can plan meals that are safe for them. Also substitutes for these trigger foods can be used.