Treating food allergies and intolerances
If your child has a true food allergy, the only course of action is to avoid the trigger food. As many children do outgrow their allergies, it is recommended that your child be tested once a year for allergies to confirm the problem foods.
If you suspect your child has a food intolerance, you should consult a specialist who will carry out an elimination diet, followed by the reintroduction of suspect foods. If a food intolerance is confirmed, you may find that your child can tolerate the problem food in small quantities.
Is a diagnosis of food allergies for life?
- If your child is allergic to milk, eggs, soy or wheat, there's an 85% chance that she will outgrow her allergy by the time she's 5 years old.
- If your child is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish, it's more likely that she'll have a life-long reaction.
- About 20% of children under 2 years who have peanut allergies will outgrow the allergy by the time they are 5 years
It is vital that your child knows how to take care of herself - teach her what foods she can and can't eat, teach her how tell other adults about her allergies, and most importantly, teach her what to do should she have an allergic reaction what she's not with you.
- Whenever practical, your child should only eat food that has been prepared at home.
- Discourage the sharing of food, utensils and containers - the smallest amount of the trigger food can set off a reaction.
- All your childs food containers should be clearly marked with her names, to avoid confusing her food with another child's.
- Because avoiding cross-contamination is so important, ensure that you wash your hands and wipe down all surfaces -bench tops, bread boards - before you prepare food.
- Make sure that your child's carers are aware of her allergies and restrict activities such as craft involving food, cooking classes and science experiments where needed.
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