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Prevention of Food Allergies in Babies and Children

Food allergies in babies are a growing concern for many parents. Allergies occur when the immune system reacts negatively to certain proteins found in food. Common allergenic foods include peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, cow’s milk, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent food allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk and manage the situation effectively. Here are some guidelines for food allergy prevention in babies and children:

Breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is recommended by many healthcare professionals. Breast milk provides essential nutrients and immune factors that can help protect against allergies.

Early introduction of allergenic foods: Recent research suggests that introducing common allergenic foods early, around four to six months, may actually reduce the risk of developing allergies. However, it’s important to consult with your paediatrician before introducing allergenic foods, especially if there is a family history of food allergies.

Gradual introduction of allergenic foods: Introduce allergenic foods one at a time and in small quantities. This allows you to monitor your baby for any adverse reactions.

Watch for signs of allergic reactions: When introducing new foods, closely monitor your baby for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives, facial swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. If you suspect an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

Avoiding allergens: If your baby has been diagnosed with a specific food allergy, it is important to avoid that food and any products containing it. Read food labels carefully and educate yourself on ingredient names that may indicate the presence of allergens.

Allergy testing: If your baby has a family history of food allergies or has experienced severe allergic reactions, your paediatrician may recommend allergy testing. These tests can help identify specific allergens and guide you in managing your baby’s diet.

Remember, every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. It is important to consult with a paediatrician or an allergist for personalized advice based on your child’s specific needs and risk factors. He/she can provide guidance tailored to your child’s situation and help you navigate food allergies effectively.

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