Once you begin introducing your little one to solids after he has crossed the six month mark, there always lurks a risk of your little one developing an allergy to some specific foods. This is something that may be quite alarming and worrying for you as a mother. Eggs are one such item that can play culprit and cause allergic reaction in a lot of babies. If that happens, then you will have to stop giving them eggs for some time. But the good news is that most babies outgrow their allergies by the time they are 5-7 years old and can eat eggs without any concern.
What Is An Egg Allergy?
Whenever a person develops an allergy to certain foods, the system responds like the body has encountered something dangerous. This can happen in little babies if they are allergic to eggs as their immune system is not completely developed and is not yet equipped to handle protein in eggs. So the immune system, which usually protects against germs and other infections, uses antibodies to fight against the egg protein like it’s a dangerous trespasser. Babies who have an egg allergy begin feeling quite sick or develop rashes as soon as they eat eggs or any food item that contains eggs. The reaction can happen immediately or may take a few hours to show up.
Signs And Symptoms Of An Egg Allergy In Babies
Given below are some of the most common signs and symptoms that indicate that your little baby is allergic to eggs.
- Skin Allergy: Egg allergies normally appear as tell-tale signs on the little one’s skin. This normally infests in the form of flushing, swelling, hives or eczema
- Digestive Issues: A baby who has developed an egg allergy can experience severe tummy aches, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting or even irritable and itchy sensation around the mouth areas
- Respiratory Issues: Some babies show signs of respiratory distress as a result of an egg allergy. They may develop a severe cold and running nose or even show signs of wheezing or have breathing difficulties
- Cardiovascular Issues: Some babies who develop an allergy to eggs develop cardio vascular issues. This includes signs like rapid heart beat, heart issues or a drop in blood pressure
In very rare cases, a baby who is allergic to eggs can experience a severe reaction called anaphylaxis due to which he can have severe breathing issues and low blood pressure. In such cases, you need to rush your baby immediately to the emergency room.
How To Diagnose An Egg Allergy In Babies?
Suppose you find that your baby is allergic to eggs, you need to consult a doctor specialist in dealing with allergies. They can diagnose whether your baby is allergic to eggs by doing a simple blood test or a “skin prick test”.
- Skin prick test: For this, a tiny amount of egg protein liquid is just dropped onto the forearm or rear of your baby and then pricked gently to make sure the liquid enters the skin. Suppose the spot develops rashes or reddish spots, the doctor can diagnose that your little one is allergic to eggs. He can also find out whether your baby is allergic to egg whites or yolk depending on the protein that was present in the liquid
- Blood Test: In this case, a sample of your little one’s blood is sent to the lab to check whether it has traces of immunoglobulin E antibodies that react to the protein in eggs
- Food elimination Test: Your doctor might suggest a food elimination test and tell you to write down and keep track of what you are feeding your baby every day and observe whether the little one has food allergy with more than one food group
- A word of caution: Any kind of tests for food allergens should not be tried at home! It is best for you and your baby to go for an allergy test at the doctor’s office, where they are specialist who are trained to conduct such tests and could give your baby immediate medical attention if he had a serious reaction
How To Treat Egg Allergies In Babies?
There is actually no treatment for an egg allergy. The best treatment is to completely stop giving eggs or any food products that contain traces of egg to your little darling.
- Antihistamines: If your little one develops an egg allergy, a mild allergic reaction can be treated with an antihistamine
- Epinephrine Injections: In case your baby develops a severe reaction to eggs, you need to rush your little one to the ER and get a shot of Epinephrine at once
Precautions To Be Taken If Your Baby Is Allergic To Eggs
- Read all food labels thoroughly: It is imperative that you go through all food labels thoroughly before you feed your little one with any outside food to ensure it has no traces of eggs in them
Look for eggs in the following forms listed on the food labels:
- Egg whites
- Egg yolk
- Fried or boiled egg
- Powdered egg
- Egg based food solids
- Dried eggs
- Whole eggs
- Let your baby’s caregiver be aware of his allergy: Inform your baby’s nanny or baby sitter about his allergy so that that can also avoid feeding your little one with anything that contains eggs
- Avoid eggs if you are still breastfeeding: There is every chance that your little one may react to the proteins that are transmitted through your breast milk when you eat eggs. So avoid eggs if you are still breastfeeding
Healthy Replacement For Eggs
Since eggs contain adequate amounts of protein in them, they are an important part of a baby’s diet. But if you little one is allergic to eggs, there is no need to worry. You can replace eggs with other food items. Some good ones are meat, poultry, fish, and legumes (beans and peanuts).