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Infant Egg Allergy and Treatment
Egg is a very nutritious food, very good for babies and toddlers. But for some it may not be true, mainly as their body reacts adversely to Eggs. According to studies egg allergy is the most common food allergy in toddlers and babies.
How to know your child is Allergic to Egg?
Egg Allergy Symptoms in Babies
Watch for these symptoms after you feed egg to your baby/toddler.
Skin reactions: Swelling, a rash, a hive
Sneezing and/or runny nose
Nausea, Stomach pain, Diarrhea
Anaphylaxis (rarely seen)
If you observe such symptoms after every time you feed egg to your child, you should consult baby’s doctor to confirm if it is really Egg Allergy
What causes Egg Allergies in children?
When body’s immune system becomes sensitive and overreacts to protein in egg whites and yolk, it develops allergy. The body sees the protein as a foreign invader and sends out an antibody called immunoglobulin E to fight off the protein. This antibody triggers several chemicals called histamine to neutralize the protein. Histamine is the cause of egg allergy.
Which part of Egg is more Allergen?
Children can be allergic to the proteins in egg whites and yolk too.
But comparatively it’s the Egg White to which is more allergen. But while cooking you cannot keep Egg yolk completely untouched of egg white and the traces of egg white are enough to cause allergic reactions.
How can you treat Egg Allergy in children?
You may get some tests done for confirming its egg allergy, Once you are sure it is so, you should completely go for Egg-free diet for the baby.
Tests done for egg allergy
Skin prick tests and blood tests such as CAP RAST or EAST are done to confirm egg allergy in your baby.
Egg –free cooking
In some cases, a child’s eczema gets worse after eating eggs. In such a situation, completely remove egg from the diet. It does improve the eczema. You may again try after six months or so.
A nutritionist or a registered dietician can help you plan your meal for your children. They ensure that your children get adequate protein if they’re allergic to eggs. They can suggest recipes that can be modified to avoid eggs. Most importantly, avoid using utensils where you have already prepared other foods containing eggs.
Egg Allergy Foods to avoid
Cakes and muffins
Pasta made of egg
Pudding or custards
(Some of the foods listed above like cake, cookies and mayonnaise can be made egg-less which can be fed to the Egg-Allergic baby)
Make sure you check the ingredients while purchasing any food items. See whether the product contains eggs. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 makes it easier for the consumer to identify the source of ingredients derived from eight major food allergens.
Need for epinephrine and MMR vaccine
Children who have an anaphylactic reaction to egg require Epinephrine (Adrenaline). Also they should not miss MMR vaccine if they are severely allergic to eggs.
Avoid influenza vaccine
If your child has had an anaphylactic reaction to egg, you should avoid giving influenza vaccine as this may cause a reaction in children with egg allergy. Please consult your doctor as it is a very important decision.
When can I feed my baby eggs?
Egg yolk is mentioned as one of good first foods for babies. But to be at safer side at very first time you can introduce egg to baby at 8th or 9th month when you have already tried a few vegetables and fruits. If you see the allergic reaction to Egg in introduction then stop giving it immediately depending on how strong the baby’s reaction was to egg you can try egg again in baby’s diet after 3-6 months.
80 percent of the children grow out of egg allergy by the time they’re five years old, and the rest 20 percent continue to be allergic to egg even as an adult. Once your child shows that he/she can tolerate eggs, you may give your child eggs regularly.