DESCRIPTIONFood allergy is a disorder caused by a hypersensitivity to a food.
Appropriate health care includes:
Diagnostic measures including skin tests and elimination diets.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSIrritability.
Skin eruptions around the rectum.
Irregular but sometimes includes:
The most likely causes of food allergy are cow's milk, wheat, eggs, chocolate, peas, beans, tomatoes, nuts, spices, fresh fruit, and seafood. There are many other single causes, as well as the possibility that a particular combination of two or more foods may be the offender.
Food allergy is more frequent in children from families in which other members have allergy problems.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo preventive measures known. Recurrences may be prevented by your child avoiding foods that cause symptoms.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Trial of allergy elimination diet.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSNone expected.
Your child's food allergy can be controlled with diet. Complete cure may come after several symptom-free years. Some children never overcome allergies to some foods.
HOME CAREIf your child has a skin rash due to food allergy, limit the number of baths as much as you can and do not allow the child to soak or play in the water. Children with eczema usually have very dry skin. Bathing causes further drying.
MEDICATIONMedicines must be fitted to your child's own particular needs. Do not give any medicine (not even medicine you buy without a prescription) without telling your doctor. Doctors sometimes prescribe antihistamines, sympathomimetic drugs, or corticosteroids. If drugs are prescribed, carefully follow the instructions on the label.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
There should be no restrictions on your child's usual activities.
DIET & FLUIDSIf your child is in early infancy, your doctor may prescribe discontinuing use of a cow's milk formula and substituting a milk-free formula or a meat-base formula.
In later years, your doctor may prescribe having the child's total diet consist only of meat, cooked or canned fruit, potatoes, rice, and gelatin for a period of two weeks. Symptoms due to allergy should be relieved during this time. After the trial period of two weeks, carefully add other foods to the child's diet one at a time. Do not add more than one new food a week. If symptoms recur after adding a new food, eliminate it for at least a year.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?
Yes. If your child is not old enough to understand which foods are allergenic, make sure the teacher has a list--in writing -- of foods the child should avoid.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child's symptoms have not improved in two weeks.
New symptoms develop.