Symptoms of Cow's Milk Allergy in infants and children
Around 2% of Australian children under two years of age are allergic to cow’s milk and cow’s milk and dairy products.3,4
If your child is allergic to cow’s milk, strict avoidance of milk, dairy products and all foods containing milk is the only way to avoid symptoms.5
Good nutrition is vital when eliminating cow’s milk and dairy from your child’s diet.
Apart from being the biggest contributor of calcium in the Australian diet, cow’s milk provides a unique package of nine other essential nutrients
- vitamins (A, B12 and riboflavin)
- minerals (phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and zinc).
This is why changing your child’s diet should always be done in consultation with a healthcare professional.
If you suspect cow’s milk allergy in your child, look for these symptoms.
• Within minutes or up to two hours after having a small amount of cow’s milk, symptoms can include:2,3
- face swelling
- noisy breathing or wheezing.
• Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) which may cause listlessness or floppiness in babies.2,3
• Several hours after having moderate amounts of cow’s milk the symptoms can include:2,3
- blotchy rashes
- worsening eczema.
A reliable diagnosis is important3 so always seek the advice of a healthcare professional if you suspect your child has a cow’s milk allergy.
What is food intolerance and how is it different from food allergies?
Food allergy and food intolerance are often confused as some symptoms of intolerance may resemble an allergy.5 Some of the common symptoms of food intolerance are:5
- rapid breathing
- loose bowels
- breathing difficulties
- burning sensations on
- tightness across the face and chest
- allergy-like reactions
- 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).
- Nutrition Australia. Food allergy. Apr 2009. Available from: http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/sites/default/files/Food%20Allergy_Printable%20PDF.pdf (Accessed Jun 2018).
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Food intolerance. 2014. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-other-adverse-reactions/food-intolerance (Accessed Jun 2018).