Fruit Allergies in Children

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Fruit is a popular food for children from the time that they are able to eat solid foods.

Fortunately, the fruits that cause the most fruit allergy reactions are not commonly fed to young babies. These include strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, limes, lemons and other citrus fruits.

Older babies and toddlers should be watched carefully when introduced to these foods in case any food allergy symptoms occur. You may think that apples are harmless, but they can also cause an allergic reaction. In fact, apples are the most common cause of fruit allergy in both children and adults.

Other fruits that can cause allergic reactions

Children can also be allergic to bananas, but this is not a common allergy. If they do have a banana allergy, it is also possible that they might be allergic to avocado and to kiwi since all three contain the same type of protein. Pineapple, plums, and some melons can also be sources of fruit allergy. If a child is allergic to tomatoes, he or she may be allergic to eggplant, potato and peppers as well.

Symptoms of fruit allergy

An allergic reaction to fruit typically occurs shortly after the child eats a certain type of fruit. A reaction can be mild and involve a rash where the food has touched the mouth and surrounding area, or it can be more serious with hives, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea not long after eating. The serious allergic reaction of anaphylaxis is possible, but it is not common. This reaction can cause serious symptoms of swelling in the mouth, tongue and throat as well as wheezing, trouble breathing and shock. If a child develops serious symptoms after eating fruit, call 911 immediately.

Treatment and caution

Many doctors want to see their patient who develops a rash or other symptoms after eating fruit. Blisters in the mouth can develop that are painful, and a young child will be bothered by hives, vomiting or diarrhea, or other reactions to eating a certain fruit. Medications are available to treat these symptoms that your pediatrician may prescribe for your child. It is important to note which fruit was eaten that caused the allergic reaction so that all foods containing it are avoided.

Because fruit is regarded as being a harmless, healthy food, many people do not realize the serious reactions that can result from a fruit allergy. When your child is at a grandparent's home or in day care, be sure to notify them of the fruit allergy.

Older children sometimes outgrow this allergy, but it is important to have your child undergo allergy testing before assuming that he or she no longer has this allergy, especially if he or she once had a serious reaction to it.

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