Common Food Allergies in Children
What percent of children under the age of 3 will develop a food allergy?
Hi, I'm Audrey Laurelton, owner of Equilibrium Nutrition located in Montclair, New Jersey. I'm here for About.com to give you some information on common food allergies in children.Any food can cause a food allergy but the ‘big eight’ are responsible for 90% of all food induced allergies in the United States. They are milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and tree nuts such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and macadamia nuts. Additionally, sesame allergies are on the rise in the United States. Six to eight percent of children under the age of 3 will develop a food allergy. Many children, up to 80%, will out grow their allergy to milk, egg, wheat, and soy after several years. Peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish allergies tend to be life long. However, a small portion of children, up to 20%, with a mild reaction to peanuts, may out grow their peanut allergy.However, these children still need to be monitored by an allergist as recurrence of a previously resolved peanut allergy has been reported. At this time there is no genetic test to determine a child’s risk of developing a food allergy. However, a family history of atopic diseases like asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and food allergies will increase a child's risk. There are an array of symptoms that may indicate a food allergy. The first is colic. It is believed that some colic babies have gastroesophageal reflux disease and that a percentage of those babies have a milk allergy. Additionally, hives, eczema, chronic ear infections, watery or swollen eyes, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea may indicate a food allergy. Anaphylaxis is a severe full body reaction that can be life threatening. It is rare in babies, but it is most likely to occur after a baby has been introduced to a new food or formula. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth, face, or throat, pale skin, and/or loss of consciousness. If your baby experiences any of these symptoms call 911 immediately. If you are concerned that your baby may have a food allergy because of a family history, or you’re worried about symptoms that your baby is experiencing, talk to your pediatrician.Thanks for watching. For more information, go to: health.about.com.