Many mothers worry when their children are allergic, suddenly a rash, itchy rash, fussy … without knowing the cause and what to do to prevent is the biggest concern? Because allergies not only affect the health but also affect the physical development, spirit and quality of life of children.
What is food allergy?
A food allergy is an abnormal reaction to food caused by the body’s immune system. Children with weak intestinal and immune systems, high permeability of gastrointestinal mucosa, if exposed to high heterogeneous foods, it is easy to develop allergies. Often, food allergies cause skin manifestations such as erythema, dermatitis, urticaria, eczema, abdominal pain, and digestive disorders. In some severe cases, food allergies can cause exacerbations of asthma attacks or anaphylaxis, and a very high risk of death.
Children under 1 year old until they start to eat solids are usually the most susceptible to allergies because at this age their immune system and digestive system are not yet complete. Currently, the rate of allergy is increasing worldwide, especially in young children. Based on a parent’s history of allergic disease, it is possible to determine the child’s risk of allergies while still in the womb. For example: If both parents have allergies, then 50-80% of the child is at risk.
Shrimp, fish, cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, soybeans are allergy-prone foods. If in adults, often allergic to shrimp, fish, children are mostly allergic to cow’s milk, eggs and soybeans are allergenic foods. For children who are of breastfeeding age, many mothers are afraid of lack of milk or work away from work, so they add formula to breastfeed, leading to an allergic reaction to the ingredients of milk. Allergic reactions to non-protein or low protein foods are rare.
Food allergy is an allergy to food that enters the gastrointestinal tract, but the symptoms are mainly in the skin and the factors that cause serious illness are located in the respiratory tract. Up to 80% of children with allergies have skin manifestations, 20% have respiratory symptoms (breathlessness, wheezing …), 20% have gastrointestinal symptoms, other symptoms only account for several percent. Food allergies, if not handled well, can lead to consequences that are hard to overcome.
Symptoms of a food allergy are quite rapid. Only a few minutes to about 2 hours after giving your baby foods that contain allergens. They are the manifestations on the surface of the body, easy to see, easy to observe. In mild, the child presents with swollen lips, itchy mouth, tongue, and throat itching. In a moderate degree, children will be itchy all over the body, a rash of red streaks or a large size red rash, the eyes may be swollen, red, and watery. In severe severity, the child presents with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath and allergic shock. When it falls into a serious case, it needs to be treated quickly, otherwise it can lead to death.
Prevention for children
Allergy is a reaction when the body comes into contact with foreign objects, foreign antigens. For babies born in the first days, foreign objects and foreign antigens are milk and food. For breastfed babies, it is not a strange antigen, only those who are fed cow’s milk or formula milk are considered strange antigens. Therefore, the first rule of allergy reduction for babies is oral tolerance: delayed exposure to the allergen in the first few months of life. At this stage, most allergens come from the nutritional formula of cow’s milk. Babies fed nutritional formula receive 106 times more foreign antigens than exclusively breastfed babies.
For primary prevention of allergy, split into two subjects is applicable to all children and children at high risk. For all babies, exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 4 months is required; continue to breastfeed for up to 6 months; Completely avoid cigarette smoke, before and after birth … Breast milk plays an important role in allergy prevention, exclusively breastfed for at least 4 months to 6 months can help reduce the frequency of atopic dermatitis. response in children under 2 years old; reduce the early onset of wheezing attacks in children under 4 years old; reduce the frequency of cow’s milk protein allergy during the first 2 years of life. For high-risk infants, including those who are not breastfed, hydrolyzed milk should be given up to 4 months of age. Partially hydrolyzed formula milk is preferred over the active (complete) hydrolysed formula. Breastfeeding mothers should also limit foods that can cause allergies to babies in order to safely make breast milk.
Absolutely avoid foods that children are allergic to, especially children under 3 years old, the age with the highest food allergy. Combining the diet with a dietary supplement is a safe solution.
Even so, many children grow up to tolerate foods that caused allergies as a child. This phenomenon usually occurs with eggs, milk, soy. Approximately 85% of children tolerate eggs and milk after 3-5 years, and about 50% of children recover from allergic reactions by the age of 8-12 years. These children continue to get rid of food allergies as they grow up. Therefore, it is necessary for children to gradually get used to these foods at school age to quickly return them a balanced and varied diet.
Since a child’s food allergy is highly genetically related, families with a close family member with known allergies or allergies, the child is at higher risk of having one or more of the related diseases. to allergies such as allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, eczema and food allergy. In this situation, during pregnancy, mothers should not eat a lot of peanuts and soybeans to limit the possibility of allergies for children of breastfeeding age.