Does Your Child Have a Food Allergy?

Here’s a scary stat: Food allergies in children rose by 18 percent from 1997 to 2007 and today, four out of every 100 U.S. kids has a food allergy. What’s more, kids under age 5 are more likely to be affected than their older counterparts. Here, some common symptoms to discuss with your pediatrician that suggest your baby or toddler might have an allergy.

  • Repeated or chronic cold-like symptoms that last more than a week or two, or develop at about the same time every year. These could include a runny nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, throat clearing, and itchy, watery eyes.
  • Recurrent coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and other respiratory symptoms may be a sign of asthma. Coughing may be an isolated symptom; symptoms that increase at night or with exercise are suspicious for asthma.
  • Recurrent red, itchy, dry, sometime scaly rashes in the creases of the elbows and/or knees, or on the back of the neck, buttocks, wrists, or ankles.
  • Symptoms that occur repeatedly after eating a particular food that may include hives, swelling of face or extremities, gagging, coughing or wheezing, vomiting or significant abdominal pain.
  • Itching or tingling sensations in the mouth, throat and/or ears during certain times of year or after eating certain foods, particularly fresh fruits.

Courtesy of The American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child’s Allergies and Asthma.