What is a peanut allergy? It is a reaction that occurs in the body after eating peanuts or peanut products. The reaction can be mild, but the concern with a peanut allergy is that even extremely small amounts of peanuts can cause a serious reaction, called anaphylaxis, in someone with a severe allergy. Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening reaction that can cause death in a very short amount of time.
One of The Most Common Causes of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis can develop very rapidly. She may begin to have trouble breathing shortly after eating. The child’s throat may swell, making it difficult to breathe. Blood pressure drops and the child may go into shock. A rapid heartbeat is another sign of anaphylaxis. A child may become dizzy and lightheaded and eventually lose consciousness. A child with this type of reaction needs emergency treatment immediately.
Parents will need to carry adrenalin with them as a precaution. Most parents typically carry medication in an auto-injector carrying cases.
Signs of a Mild or Severe Reaction
Skin reactions are commonly seen in children with peanut allergies. The skin appears to be red, or hives might appear. Another symptom that may show up only minutes after eating is tingling or itching in or around the mouth and throat. This can be dangerous because if the throat swells it can obstruct breathing. Some children have diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting not long after eating.
Introduce New Foods Gradually
If peanut allergy runs in your family, you will want to have your child allergy tested before feeding him peanut butter or cookies that have peanuts in them. It could be too risky to try to see if your child is allergic or not without seeing your allergist beforehand. Doctors often tell parents of children who have no peanut allergy to wait until their child is at least two or three years old before introducing peanuts into their diet. At that time, a very small amount should be given to the child.
Read Food Labels Carefully
If your child has a peanut allergy, you will need to learn about how to respond to help your child if he eats food with peanuts in it. Sometimes, even other peanut-free foods that were produced in a food processing plant can cause a reaction. This can happen if a tiny piece of peanut was left lodged in machinery that has been thoroughly cleaned. It can also happen if peanut dust that becomes airborne when peanut butter or products with ground peanuts are made at the same site where peanut-free products are made. Allergists recommend that children who have peanut allergies do not eat any foods produced
where peanuts are used.