How will I know if my child has a food allergy?

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How will I know if my child has a food allergy?

An allergic reaction can consist of one or more of the following:

  • diarrhoea or vomiting
  • a cough
  • wheezing and shortness of breath
  • itchy throat and tongue
  • itchy skin or rash
  • swollen lips and throat
  • runny or blocked nose
  • sore, red and itchy eyes

If your child has an allergic reaction, don’t be tempted to experiment by cutting out a major food, such as milk, as this could lead to your child not getting the nutrients they need. Talk to your doctor, who may refer you to a registered dietitian.

Severe allergic reaction to food

In a few cases, foods can cause a very severe reaction (anaphylaxis) that can be life threatening. Anaphylaxis to food can cause wheezing or breathing difficulty, swelling of the tongue, loss of consciousness, vomiting or becoming pale and floppy. Anaphylaxis is rare in babies. Hives or swelling around the mouth are more common.

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Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that needs urgent attention. The recommendation is to use adrenalin injected by a health professional or via a self-loaded device, such as Epipen.

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