Understanding Medical Problems

Be Vigilant About Noticing These Indicators Of A Food Allergy

When many people think about allergies to foods such as peanuts or shellfish, they imagine a severe reaction in which the person begins to struggle to breathe. While it's true that anaphylactic reactions are common with food allergies, it's also common to experience symptoms that aren't life threatening, but can nevertheless be a concern. Allergy testing will confirm the foods that your children will need to avoid, but if you haven't arranged such testing, you'll want to keep a watchful eye out for indicators that your children may have eaten something that doesn't agree with them. Here are some less-serious signs of such an issue.

Irritation Inside The Mouth

Be vigilant about noticing your children's complaints about how their mouths feel upon eating different foods. For those with food allergies, it's possible that they'll experience some degree of irritation inside the mouth. A child may state that the tongue or the roof of his or her mouth feels itchy, for example. If these complaints are present, you'll want to quickly visually assess the child's mouth. In some instances, the tongue could appear swollen, and a rash-like appearance may be present.

Issues Around The Mouth And Face

It's also possible that you'll notice changes to your children's skin around the mouth and even elsewhere on their face. If a child consumes a food to which he or she is allergic, this can cause the skin to redden. Given that many children are sloppy eaters and may end up with food on their lips, chins, and elsewhere, you may be able to easily see redness, puffiness, or other visual indicators that the food is not agreeing with the child. If your children are messy eater, be vigilant about wiping their faces regularly, as you don't want a sign of an allergy to be present but hidden beneath some food.

Complaints Of Abdominal Pain

Sometimes, there won't be any visual indicator that your children have eaten something to which they're allergic, but you may soon be hearing about it. Food allergies can often cause different types of abdominal pain. A child who is older may be able to articulate that his or her tummy hurts, whereas a younger child who cannot communicate as well may simply cry and/or curl up into a ball in an effort to alleviate the discomfort. If any of these signs are present, you should avoid serving the child the food that you believe to be the cause of the issue, and visit an allergy specialist like those at Southern Family Medicine Inc. promptly.