Eggs, peanuts, soy milk, oh my! Food allergies are quite common in little ones: One out of every 17 children age 3 and under suffers from them. So what can you do? Start with these facts, tips and suggestions.
Know Your Allergens
Beware of the most common allergens: cow's milk, egg whites, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews), fish and shellfish, and soy.
Allergies Can be Hand-Me-Downs
Food allergies can be hereditary, hence babies whose parents have allergies are at higher risk for developing them. The good news: Most children outgrow them by 5 years of age.
Breastfeed If You Can
Some studies have shown that breastfeeding may help protect your baby from developing certain food allergies, particularly if you have a family history of them. If you're not breastfeeding or need to supplement, ask your pediatrician to recommend a formula.
Spot the Signs
Look for any of the symptoms of an allergic reaction. They include but are not limited to hives, rashes, throat tightness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pale skin and lightheadedness. For more information, visit The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network at foodallergy.org.