Food allergies are exceedingly common and often show up in early childhood. Knowing the most common childhood food allergies can help you catch and treat them early. Monitor your child after they eat these eight common trigger foods to rule out food allergies.
First, What’s an Allergy?
An allergy occurs when your child’s immune system wrongly views a food or drink item as an “invader” and rapidly produces antibodies to fight it off. This flood of antibodies causes symptoms that can make your child feel unwell. It’s important to note that allergies are different from sensitivities—both cause similar symptoms, but sensitivities are less severe and never deadly.
8 of the Most Common Childhood Allergies
Peanuts & Tree Nuts
Nuts, especially peanuts, are the most common childhood food allergen and one of the most dangerous.
Milk allergies are commonly caused by the S1-casein protein found in cow’s milk.
This staple food is another common culprit of childhood allergies. Kids can be allergic to just whites, just yolks, or both parts of the egg.
Salmon, tuna, catfish, and cod are the most common types of fish reported to cause reactions.
Shrimp, lobster, and crab cause the most shellfish allergies. Interestingly, most kids with this allergy can still eat mollusks like oysters, clams, and mussels.
This umami sauce can also cause reactions.
Kids who are allergic to wheat react to the protein gluten. Some may have celiac disease rather than a normal allergy.
Commonly found on hamburger buns and other kid-friendly foods, sesame can sadly make your kid sick.
Kids can be allergic to any kind of food or drink, but the items on this list account for a shocking 90 percent of reactions.
How To Tell if Your Child Has Allergies
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Trouble breathing
- Stomach pain
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Red spots
Not all allergies are severe, which can make pinpointing them difficult. If you’re unsure whether your child has allergies, consider asking their pediatrician to perform an in-office allergen test or ordering an at-home test. If your child has severe symptoms, take them to the ER immediately—they could be suffering from a form of extreme allergy called anaphylaxis, which can be deadly.
Allergies may seem scary, but fortunately, they’re easy to manage once discovered. If you think your kid may have an allergy, get in touch with their doctor at your earliest convenience to discuss testing options.