How to Diagnose a Peanut Allergy

Could your child possibly have a peanut allergy?

More children have been diagnosed with food allergies over the past years, and you may be wondering if your child has a peanut allergy. Peanut allergies are one of the most frightening of all allergies because the reaction to peanuts or to a food containing peanuts can be very severe and can even cause death in a short amount of time. Some scientists believe that humans are developing more allergies because many crops are genetically modified.

The signs of a peanut allergy

So how can you diagnose a peanut allergy? What are the signs of food allergies in babies and in young children? A severe allergic reaction is easy to see because the child breaks out in a rash or hives after eating. The baby or child may begin to wheeze and have trouble breathing. Young children who are not able to talk may pull at their ears or arms or legs. If the baby's stomach hurts from a food allergy or she is uncomfortable, she will cry as if for no reason.

Discuss any possible food reaction with your pediatrician

Sometimes dairy allergies, peanut allergies, or other food allergies cause vomiting and severe stomach cramping in young children. If your child was playing and seemed to be fine before eating, but suddenly began showing any of these symptoms after eating, a food allergy should be suspected. It is best to stop feeding the food that the child ate before showing these symptoms. If the symptoms go away without eating a particular food, then you can suspect that your child has an allergy to whatever he or she ate. You can avoid the food and discuss it with your pediatrician at your next visit if it is coming up in the next few weeks.

Severe reactions require quick emergency treatment

A life threatening and very serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical intervention can also be caused by allergies to foods. This is called anaphylaxis, and it is a whole body reaction that happens when a baby or child has an extreme allergy. The child may go into shock and lose consciousness. If not treated, the baby or child could die, so it is important to call for emergency help immediately if this happens.

Nuts, milk, eggs, and seafood are the foods that usually cause the most severe allergic reactions in children. If your child shows any signs of anaphylaxis after eating these, call 911 immediately and get your child to an emergency room for fast treatment.

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