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Children and Egg Allergies: What To Do if Your Child is Suffering from an Egg Allergy

If you think, or know, that your child is suffering from an egg allergy, it’s crucial that you monitor their diet, read food labels and understand the allergy, so you can provide the best prevention for your child.

Even though eggs are a perfectly healthy food, this isn’t what the body thinks when someone suffers from an egg allergy. Instead, the body rejects the proteins found in eggs, seeing them as a foreign attacker in the body, with the immune system overreacting to these to try and kill them off. It is this reaction to egg proteins that can cause the allergic reactions you may have witnessed in your child.

The reaction experienced in your child when they eat eggs could vary, with milder symptoms including rashes and itchy hives to more severe ones such as anaphylaxis. In most cases, these types of reactions are witnessed in children who are very young with a lot of them outgrowing the allergy by the time they are 5.

Getting an accurate diagnosis from an allergist or doctor is important if you think your child is suffering from an egg allergy as this will then help you to take the right measures to prevent them from experiencing these allergic reactions in the future.

children and egg allergiesImage Source: Flickr

Treating Your Child’s Egg Allergy

Initially, making sure your child avoids eggs or egg products may seem easy, but you’ll probably find it becomes more complex when you start to realize just how many foods contain traces of eggs. This can make it incredibly difficult to know exactly what is and isn’t OK for your child to eat. It’s always worth considering speaking to a dietitian to get professional advice in these situations.

You may find that your doctor provides you with a shot of epinephrine if your child suffers from severe reactions to eggs. This is for emergency situations and should be given directly to your child if they start having serious allergic symptoms after accidentally consuming eggs. These symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pains or swelling inside the mouth – you should also call 911.

Antihistamines, which are available over the counter, are also good at easing the symptoms some children experience after eating eggs. However, in severe cases, these should be used alongside the epinephrine, not instead of.

The Flu Vaccine and Egg Allergies

Until recently, anyone suffering from an egg allergy was advised to seek a medical opinion as to whether it was safe for them to receive the flu vaccine. As this vaccine is grown in eggs, its safety was questioned but experts have advised that because there are only tiny amounts of egg allergens in the vaccine, it is safe for children who suffer from severe egg allergies.

If your child suffers from swelling, itching or rashes to their skin when they eat eggs, the flu vaccine should be administered in a doctor’s surgery, not other venues like drugstores or supermarkets. If your child suffers from severe reactions, these shots should be done in the office of an allergist.

As the risks of nasal mist vaccines are currently unknown, these should be avoided.

What Foods Your Child Should Be Avoiding

Always read the labels of any foods before you feed it to your child. In the U.S. manufacturers of foods are legally required to state whether eggs or egg products are contained in their food, so always look for statements that say “contains egg ingredients” or “produced in a factory that processes eggs”.

This helps to clarify things without you having to read the entire label of ingredients, which can often be complex and confusing. I.e. ovoglobulin is derived from an egg protein but the average person shouldn’t be expected to know this, which is why the clear labels help to tell you what you should be avoiding at a glance.

However, it is worth familiarizing yourself with these more obscure ingredients that can be found in foods, particularly when eating in foreign countries or eating out at restaurants. These include: vitellin, Simplesse, silici albunimate, ovovitellin, ovovitella, ovotransferrin, ovomucoid, ovomucin, ovoglobulin, ovalbumin, lysozyme, livetin, globulin and albumin.

The importance of being clear with labeling can be seen in this piece about Hampton Creek online.

Coping with Your Child’s Egg Allergy

When visiting friends, it may be a good idea to take some food with you for your child, just to be sure, and always be on the lookout for products that are egg-free. If you are unsure about any foods, avoid giving them to your child until you’re 100% sure that it is free from eggs. The most important thing to remember is that avoiding all forms of eggs is the best prevention for your child’s allergy.

Hayden Porter has an egg allergy herself, something she has lived with since she was a child. She finds that people are very aware of nut allergies, but know less about egg allergies; she wants to make more people aware, and does this through her articles which appear all over the web.


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