Baby allergies are very common in small children. Just about every known symptom in babyhood has been attributed to an allergy, but of course this is usually incorrect.
Some allergies are mild and do not produce much concern. But others can be serious, and affect the child for a long time.
The commonest in the first years of life are skin disorders, gastrointestinal upsets and a wheezy bronchitis. These are well-known to many mothers.
Foods most likely to produce allergies are cow’s milk, wheat (and products containing wheat), egg and orange juice.
If the allergy symptoms persist, it is essential to try and have the specific cause tracked down. Then the product can be left out of the diet, and improvement will often follow.
Sometimes this may entail a major variation in food intake and eating habits which could persist for a long time.
For instance, if there is a true allergy to cow’s milk, it may need to be replaced by another item, such as a soy milk product. Sensitivity to eggs is often a long-term affair. Reaction to egg white is more persistent than to yolk.
To make certain that only true cases of cow’s milk allergy are treated with this different product, the Department of Health makes soy formula available as a pharmaceutical benefit. But it is available only if the allergy has been definitely linked.
It must be shown that the symptoms (eczema, asthma or severe gastric upsets) are relieved when cow’s milk is withdrawn, but recur when the cow’s milk is recommended.
People also ask
1. My baby seems to be allergic to many things. Does she need a course of injections or will she grow out of these allergies?
Long courses of desensitizing injections are not ideal for babies routinely. Fortunately, as they become older, many baby allergies seem to get right without medication. The fewer injections babies have, the better. (Unless of course it is vital for their well-being.)
2. I am desperate what to do, because my child has a definite allergy to cows milk.
Don’t panic. Many infants and children seem allergic to cow’s milk. Many babies are unable to tolerate it, and develop diarrhea, vomiting, and skin eruptions. As time goes by, the tendency to the allergic reaction is likely to diminish.
Soy formula is an excellent substitute. In fact, it is readily available as a pharmaceutical benefit, in either the liquid or powder form. Provided baby is under four years he may qualify. The doctor must make a special application, and it is then quite easy to obtain.
3. My child has a penicillin allergy. Will this disappear or is it for keeps?
Once allergic to penicillin, it is usually for keeps. It is foolish to attempt to have trials to see what happens. Indeed, severe reactions could occur, and this could be disastrous. Make sure any doctor called is made aware of the allergy right from the start.