Amy Kotterman

What are common food allergy symptoms in kids? How do these symptoms differ from other allergies?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 25 children suffers from a food allergy. Food allergies can cause a variety of symptoms within a few minutes to an hour after eating, including:

- Tingling or itchiness in the mouth or throat

- Difficulty swallowing or breathing

- Swelling of the lips or around the mouth

- Rash around the mouth or anus

- Nausea/vomiting

- Abdominal pain

- Gassiness

- Diarrhea

- Mucous or blood in the stool

- Eczema

- Hives

- Runny nose with clear mucus

- Watery eyes

- Wheezing

The respiratory symptoms listed above might also be caused by an allergic reaction to something in the air (like pet dander or pollen), whereas the skin problems could be a sign of an allergy to something that has touched your child's skin (like soap or clothing washed in a new laundry detergent). Gastrointestinal issues by themselves are usually not symptoms of a true allergy, but they may instead indicate intolerance to a particular food. In other words, consuming the problem food just causes digestive discomfort rather than a serious health issue.

If your child does experience a severe reaction, including wheezing, trouble breathing or swallowing, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, loss of color, clammy skin, drowsiness or fainting, get help immediately, since some allergies can be life-threatening.

Even if symptoms are mild, however, and you suspect a food allergy, take your child to an allergist. Food allergy symptoms can mimic those of many other conditions -- from the common cold to a GI bug -- but it’s important to find out whether your child is truly allergic, because the severity of reactions can vary over time. 


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Health - Common Food Allergies in Kids