Important Things Parents Should Know About Food Allergies

Are you the parent of a small child? Are you worried about his or her health? It's natural for a parent to be concerned about their child's health, especially when it comes to food allergies. If you're wondering whether or not to talk to your child's pediatrician about food allergy testing, here are the answers to some questions you may have:

If a parent is allergic to milk, will their child also be allergic to milk? Having a food allergy makes it more likely that your child will also have a food allergy. However, it doesn't mean that he or she will have the same food allergy. Though you may be allergic to milk, he or she might instead have an allergy to eggs or fish. Instead of just guessing what might or might not harm your child, food allergy testing will be able to determine exactly what, if anything, your child is allergic to. 

Does the child in question have an allergy or just an intolerance? The symptoms of an intolerance can seem almost identical to those of an allergy. Both can leave a person feeling ill, including symptoms like cramps or headaches. However, while an intolerance is simply uncomfortable, an allergy can be life-threatening. An untreated allergic reaction can lead to difficulty breathing and could result in death. Because very small children are unable to properly articulate exactly how they are feeling, it's important for them to have food allergy testing as soon as you suspect there might be an issue. Knowing what your child can and cannot eat will allow you to avoid foods that could potentially be dangerous to your son or daughter.

Are particular foods more likely to result in an allergy? There are eight main foods or food groups that are the most likely to cause an allergy: wheat, milk, fish, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish. If your child hasn't had any food allergy testing yet, you should be extremely careful when introducing these new foods to your son or daughter. But these are also not the only foods that can cause allergies. Although less common, you might find out that your child has an allergy to something like rice or even ordinary apples. When feeding your child new foods, you should introduce them one at a time so that you'll be able to tell which, if any, caused an allergic reaction. 

If you want to have food allergy testing done, visit Allergy Asthma & Immunology Center.