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care.com: Signs of food allergies in babies

care.com food allergy

By Amanda Krupa

Little bites can bring big surprises — at least if your baby is one of the 3% of infants and almost 9% of 1-year-olds in the United States with food allergies. And if you’re wondering what baby food allergy signs and symptoms to look out for and what to expect if they have a reaction, you might do well to learn from other parents who’ve been there.

From peanut butter kisses to egg-induced epiphanies, parents recall how they initially recognized their child’s food allergy signs and symptoms and how their baby’s diagnosis has impacted their parenting journey. Here are their stories and lessons they’ve learned. 

When out to breakfast with her 7-month-old Tomaž, Chicago-area mom Monika Ulrich gave some of the scrambled eggs from her meal to her son. He was just beginning to try solid foods, but by the end of the meal, red splotches appeared all around his mouth. “I immediately called our pediatrician and was referred to a pediatric allergist,” she says. “At that time, the allergist told us test results weren’t reliable for a baby that young and to just avoid giving him stove-top eggs.”

A couple months later, Tomaž started forcefully vomiting after having some noodles. “We didn’t realize until later that he also had huge, red hives all over his body,” recalls Monika. A blood and skin test later revealed he had severe food allergies to eggs, cow’s milk and peanuts.

Monika and her husband, Jason, were given an allergy action plan and a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector to use anytime Tomaž had two or more symptoms of anaphylaxis

“It can be a bit overwhelming as a new father,” says Jason, who leverages his experience working in the food manufacturing industry when checking food labels and ingredients. “Educating yourself is key.”  

They’ve only needed to use the auto-injector once so far. “It was terrifying,” recalls Monika who gave her son the injection in his thigh while Jason held him down. “The Auvi-Q brand wasn’t covered by our insurance but it talks to you and tells you what to do while you’re doing it,” she says. “I was really glad we paid extra for it; when your adrenaline is rushing and you’re dealing with a screaming toddler, it’s hard to remember instructions you learned months before.”

Over the last several years, there’s been a lot of fluctuating prices of epinephrine, says Jodi Shroba, a pediatric nurse practitioner and coordinator of the Food Allergy Program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. “Families need to purchase multiple sets, and it gets expensive.” She adds, “If your baby is in child care, for example, we recommend providing them with a two-pack of epinephrine; in rare instances both doses will be needed.”


Read the full article via care.com

Children's Mercy Food Allergy Center