A food allergy happens when the body reacts to a product as a harmful substance, causing the body’s immune system to release antibodies to fight the ‘food allergen’ (substance that causes the allergy). As a result the body releases a chemical known as histamine this causes allergic reactions.
Of In Sri Lankan Children
- Itchy Skin – Red itchy bumps, swelling of the face and redness, sudden appearance of eczema, itching and swelling of the lips, tongue or mouth. These are the most common signs of food allergies.
- Swelling – Almost immediate swelling of the face, arms or neck.
- Severe Abdominal Pain – This is caused by a disturbance in the gastrointestinal tract, signs include pain, nausea and loose stools.
- Vomiting – Violent vomiting can also be a cause of allergy to food.
- Breathing – Runny nose, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
- Fainting – Feeling lightheaded and fainting after consuming food causing allergies.
- Anaphylaxis – This is life threatening when the child’s body shows two of the above symptoms with swelling of the air passage causing difficulty in breathing, fainting and even death.
Watch out for any of these symptoms if your child feels sick after consuming food. But keep in mind that the above signs do not always mean a food allergy; they can also be caused by bad food. Do not panic unnecessarily but seek immediate medical attention.
How Food Allergens Affect The Childs Body
Food allergens cause reactions within different parts of the body such as the:
- Respiratory System
- Gastrointestinal Tract
- Cardiovascular System
Food Causing Allergies
It is wise that parents know the types of food that are more likely to cause an allergic reaction in your child. The following list gives food that is responsible for causing allergies almost 90% of the time:
- Shellfish (prawns, crabs etc.)
- Tree Nuts (Cajun, hazelnuts etc – be mindful of what chocolates you offer the child)
Most of the above are responsible for food allergies in Sri Lankan children. Milk for instance although tolerated can cause an allergy after an illness, this is termed as ‘lactose intolerance’ it’s not always permanent. Click Milk & Lactose Intolerance to read more.
Certain food colourings in sweets too cause allergic reactions in children while many may develop an allergen to certain foods at a latter stage, most outgrow their food allergies as they reach adulthood.
If your child is consuming any of the above food, be mindful and watch out for symptoms. Know when the child is having an allergic reaction and always know what he or she has been eating. In this course, it is wise to advise any day-care or Montessori to make sure your child does not eat food other than what is provided by you.
Never over react but always be considerate of what food your child consumes, avoid unnecessary limitations and paranoia, but do be mindful of food allergies.
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mummypages.lk is not a doctor or a specialist and this site gives only general information’s, there for if you feel any sort of discomfort or illness please consult your doctor immediately for assistance.