Food allergies in infants and children
Nine foods cause around 90% of food allergies.1,2
These are cow’s milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts (such as walnuts, almonds and pecans), sesame, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.1,2
The majority of food allergies in children are not severe and may be ‘outgrown’ in time.1,2
However, peanut, tree nut, seed and seafood allergies are less likely to be outgrown and tend to be lifelong allergies.1,2
Do you know what to do if your child experiences a food allergy including anaphylaxis? Find out more
To arrive at a correct diagnosis you will need to see a doctor. One thing your doctor will want to know is what foods have been eaten that day or in the days leading up to any symptoms.1
You’ll find it helpful to keep track of any food your child (or breast feeding mother) has consumed and any symptoms experienced in the lead- to appointments with your health care professional.
Allergy testing is a useful guide to determining whether is person is allergic and to what, but it does not provide a guide to whether any future allergic reaction will be mild or severe.1
Skin prick allergy tests or allergy blood tests help to confirm or exclude potential triggers.1,2
A skin prick allergy test involves putting drops of the suspected allergen on the forearm of back.4
The skin is then lightly ‘pricked’ at the site of the droplet of the potential allergen.4
Sensitivity to a particular allergen will show itself with an itchy, red, raised lump.4
Sometimes a temporary elimination diet under close medical and dietetic supervision may be needed, followed by food challenges to identify the cause. 1,2
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Food allergy. 2016. Available from: http://www.allergy.org.au/images/pcc/ASCIA_PCC_Food_Allergy_2016.pdf (Accessed June 2016).
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Food allergy clinical update information for health professionals, 2017. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/pospapers/ASCIA_HP_Clinical_Update_Food_Allergy_2017_HP_version.pdf (Accessed June 2018).
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy. 2017. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/cows-milk-dairy-allergy (Accessed Jun 2018).
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Allergy testing. 2017. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/images/pcc/ASCIA_PCC_Allergy_testing_2017.pdf (Accessed June 2016).