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Baby food allergies

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Kids & Teens

Are you concerned because your baby develops rashes, or itching and swelling of the mouth or any other syndrome after having a particular type of food? If it is happening quite frequently, then it is better, that you read this article, because your child is suffering from baby food allergies.

It is not easy to identify food allergies. For many babies the first sign is chronic atopic dermatitis or eczema, which are dry, itchy patches of skin appearing on the face, kneecaps, and elbows. Other symptoms can be itching and swelling of the face, mouth, and lips, rashes, watery eyes, vomiting or diarrhea, wheezing or loss of consciousness.

If your baby is allergic to any baby food, his immune system will react whenever he ingests it by releasing antibodies to fight it off.  This process starts the above-mentioned symptoms. If he is consistently having any of the other above symptoms within two hours of swallowing a certain food, then take your baby to a pediatric allergist for testing. The allergist after asking you detailed questions about your baby's symptoms, might ask for a skin or blood test to determine whether the symptoms are due to an immune reaction. If the skin test produces a rash or the blood test shows antibodies to the food, then he's allergic.  The allergist can tell you which food or foods are causing the problem.

Once you come to know about the source of the allergy, it is better to avoid that food since there are no shots or medicines that work for food allergies. Though avoiding a particular food might not be so easy since foods can show up in any place and even a little bit of that may trigger allergy. Therefore you must take care about reading labels of the baby food bottles, knowing which ingredients to avoid, and enquire about ingredients in restaurant dishes. There are some web sites also that can help you identify and steer clear of allergy inducing baby foods. You should always call the manufacturer if you're unsure about a product's ingredients.

If you are a nursing mother and find your baby is allergic to a specific food, you have to give up the food yourself. Because the proteins that cause the allergy will be passed on to the baby through your breast milk.

If your baby has got severe allergic reactions then immediately call for the help of paramedics. Don't try to call the doctor or try to drive him to the emergency room since this might cause more severe problems that may result to his choking. Be always prepared that if once your baby has had a reaction to a food it might happen a second time also. Take the doctors recommendations for that. The doctor might suggest that you carry a shot of epinephrine, called EpiPen.
Since food allergies are usually genetically inherited, it is not possible to prevent them completely. But you may be able to ward them off by not introducing the babies to such foods that can trigger an allergic reaction until his body is developed.

When your baby starts eating solids, you must take proper care while introducing him to new foods. Start to give him the foods in small quantities and watch how his immune system reacts. Through this approach you will be able to identify the problem food and immediately remove it from his diet.

Many children suffering from allergy due to dairy products generally grow out of these allergies by the time they are 2 or 3. At that point you must take your child to the allergist to check whether it is fine to let him have the dairy products. But allergies to peanuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and eggs generally last a lifetime.

So all you mothers out there, if your baby is suffering or has suffered from baby food allergy, take the proper measures so that it can be cured.