Food allergies can cause serious reactions, especially in children. So, it's critical to pinpoint what foods may present a problem to your son or daughter as quickly as possible.
Pediatricians say food allergies typically surface before age 2. Milk and egg allergies present themselves early, typically within a few times of the food being ingested. Peanut allergies are also presenting before age 2 for many kids these days.
Doctors say the most severe reactions can elicit things like repetitive coughing, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing, but a child will typically break out in hives or may exhibit some swelling or have belly pain.
If you suspect a food allergy, the first step to take is to get your child into your pediatrician's office. You'll be questioned about the reaction, it's characteristics and what foods may have caused it.
The next step would be to begin allergy testing.
"After getting a very careful history and getting an exam, we would often do allergy testing. Most frequently skin testing, but in some cases it may be a blood test," said Dr. Velma Paschall, a pediatric allergist at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.
If your child has a food allergy your doctor will talk to you about avoidance and what to do in the case of an accidental ingestion.