How Do I Know If My Baby Is Allergic to Peanuts?
The signs and symptoms of peanut allergies in babies
Babies usually show the same peanut allergy symptoms as older children as adults. It is estimated that up to 3 million babies under one year of age has some type of food allergies. The difference between an infant with an allergy and an older child or adult is that the baby is not able to communicate if their stomach hurts or if they have a "funny feeling" in their throat. For this reason, it is very important to introduce foods to infants very slowly and only one at a time. Many pediatricians recommend that an infant should have very few solid foods until they are at least 6 months old.
Older babies may have a reaction from eating cookies that contain peanuts
It's not uncommon to give a baby above 6 months of age a graham cracker or cookie of some sort. If the infant develops a rash or hives on his body, the baby should be seen by a pediatrician, especially if the rash or hives are severe. Most pediatricians want to see a baby right away to identify the rash. If there is a slight rash or only a few hives, it may be safe to wait until the next visit to discuss the incident with your baby's doctor.
Babies may develop vomiting or diarrhea after eating products containing peanuts
It is easy to see if a baby has diarrhea or if she vomits, but both vomiting and diarrhea can also be caused by a virus or other cause. This makes it difficult to know if these are the only signs of the child being allergic to peanuts. Parents need to look for a pattern, so if the child develops these symptoms only after eating certain foods containing peanuts, they can begin to suspect that their child may have an allergy to them.
More severe reactions point to a peanut allergy and can't be ignored
Signs and symptoms of a baby being allergic to peanuts can be severe and life threatening. One of the symptoms that an allergic baby may develop is respiratory problems. This includes difficulty breathing and gasping for air. The most serious reaction is anaphylaxis, or a whole body reaction to the peanut-containing product that was eaten. Babies may have many symptoms at the same time. They may develop a rash, have trouble breathing, and their heart rate may increase. Immediate medical intervention is required if this happens. All parents of infants should be aware that this is a possibility when any new food is introduced, especially since millions of children in the country have a food allergy.
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free peanut-free snack guide.
Stay on top of your allergy with recipes, lifestyle tips and more.