How to Handle Allergies in Babies
September 26, 2018
If you’ve ever suffered from an allergy or intolerance, you’ll know that they can make life miserable. Sneezing, coughing, itching and bloating are just a few of the possible symptoms. In this post, we’ll take a look at allergies in babies and kids. Which allergies are most common? How can you recognize childhood allergies? And how can you deal with allergies, while feeding your baby a healthy, balanced diet?
Common allergies for babies and children
Many children suffer from allergies when they’re small. The good news is, many kids grow out of them! And even if your baby has a lifelong allergy, they can still enjoy healthy, delicious food.
Let’s dive in with some statistics.
• 6% of kids have respiratory allergies, including hayfever and some types of asthma.
• 7% of kids have skin allergies, such as eczema.
• 5% of kids have food allergies, including common nut allergies and some intestinal problems.
What causes allergies in babies?
It’s unclear what causes many allergies. If allergies are common in your family, then your baby is more likely to experience allergies. But their specific triggers could well be different! So, for example, if you have a nut allergy, your child might show signs of allergies to other foods.
Here are some common allergy triggers:
⁃ Dust mites. In fact, dust mites are bad news for 85% of all allergy sufferers!
⁃ Animal dander. Hair, skin and dust from furry animals.
⁃ Pollen. Remember that pollen levels and types vary by season – so don’t be surprised if hayfever-type allergies suddenly come and go.
⁃ Mold and fungi. Keep away from the damp, and make sure your home is well-ventilated, with lots of fresh air.
How to recognize allergies in babies
At first, some allergy symptoms can be confused with a cough, cold, or rash. But if your baby regularly shows these symptoms, consider allergy testing:
• Constantly runny nose, especially if the mucus is clear. Look out for your kid constantly rubbing at their nose – some doctors call this the “allergy salute”!
• Constantly blocked nose, or breathing through the mouth
• Itchy, red, or watery eyes
• Frequent sneezing
• Dark purple or blue skin under the eyes
• Frequent, dry coughing
• Irritated or broken skin, with an angry red rash
Keep an eye out for frequent ear infections, sinus infections, and asthma too. These problems can have other causes – but it’s worth asking your doctor about allergies.
How to handle your baby’s allergies
Allergies aren’t the end of the world! Get your doctor’s advice, and learn what you need to do to keep your baby safe. Then focus on giving them a fun, happy childhood. Teach them to enjoy life and food, not fear it.
How to eat healthy with allergies
⁃ Share the details. Make sure that other adults who spend time with your child know all about their allergies. That includes relatives, teachers, childcarers, and parents of their friends.
⁃ Eat a varied diet where you can. For example, if your child has nut allergies, you can still introduce them to a range of delicious fruits and vegetables! Be creative. Search online for recipes if you’re having trouble excluding certain ingredients.
⁃ Avoid additives and artificial foods. Some people react badly to preservatives and flavorings. Some highly processed foods may include ingredients from trigger foods. Stick to a natural, minimally processed diet as much as you can.
How to prevent allergies
There’s growing evidence that a varied diet is the best protection for small children. Introduce your baby to an exciting range of tasty, organic food, as soon as they are interested in solid foods. The First Spoons meals are a great place to start: organic ingredients, organic cooking, and baby-safe ingredients.