How do I know whether my child has a food allergy?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a food allergy is a reaction of the immune system caused by a specific protein in a food. Symptoms of a typical food allergy reaction can appear within a few minutes to 72 hours or longer after exposure.
Signs and symptoms of a possible food allergy in infancy include:
- Itchy skin rash or eczema, producing dry, scaly and often red patches
- Vomiting most or all of food after feeding
- Loose, watery stools eight or more times a day
- Bloody diarrhea
It’s important to note that most often adverse reactions to foods are mistaken as food allergies. An adverse reaction to food can produce symptoms similar to those of an allergy but usually doesn’t involve the immune system. These types of reactions commonly occur in your baby’s first year and may disappear by the time the child is 3 years old.
Food allergies may not always disappear. If you think your baby is having a reaction, stop feeding the food and consult your pediatrician.
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