Nut Allergies in Children Can Cause Serious Reactions

Children can have allergies to a variety of tree nuts

Nut allergies can have serious consequences, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Although there is little conclusive evidence of tree nuts that cause the most allergies, there have been some surveys in which those allergic to nuts responded. Brazil nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts were reported as causing the most allergic reactions. Another survey found that cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, macadamias, pistachios, pecan, pine, and Brazil nuts caused the most reactions in that order.

Allergies to tree nuts can cause life-threatening reactions

Tree nuts, just like the legume peanuts can cause anaphylaxis. This severe allergic reaction affects the whole body, and the person may have swelling in the throat and mouth, redness and tingling on the face, and may break out in a rash or hives that spread over the body. The child may have a severe asthma attack and may go into shock.

Other possible allergic reactions to tree nuts

Other possible reactions to tree nuts are coughing, nausea and vomiting, or mouth itch. AAAAI reminds parents that a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis could occur regardless of past history or allergy test results. Recognizing and treating anaphylaxis is important to all parents who need to suspect a food allergy if their child experiences symptoms within minutes or a few hours after eating tree nuts.

Children with suspected allergies to nuts should be tested for them

If a child shows any signs of having an allergy to tree nuts, parents should discuss allergy testing with their child's pediatrician. Doctors usually prescribe epinephrine, and parents need to carry it with them in auto-injector carrying cases in case the child accidentally eats a food containing tree nuts.

Many allergists suggest that a child allergic to tree nuts not eat peanuts

Although peanuts are not a nut, but are a legume, many allergists tell their patients not to eat peanuts. One reason for this is because of possible cross-contamination. Machinery in food processing plants that has been used to grind peanuts may also be used to grind tree nuts. It is simply safer for many children with tree nut allergies to avoid all nuts, including peanuts.

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