Baby's food allergy: symptoms, what to do?

Content (Click to view)
  1. Baby food allergy
  2. What is Allergy
  3. Frequency of food allergy in babies
  4. The foods involved
  5. Symptoms
  6. Baby food allergy and hives: what to do?
  7. What to do?
    1. The treatment of food allergies is also based on eviction.
  8. Prevention
  9. You may be interested:

Baby food allergy

Food allergies are common in children. In children, they rarely cause severe allergic reactions and some disappear in childhood. The point with Dr. Habib Chabane, allergist.

Baby food allergy

Photo Singkham in Pexels

What is Allergy

"A food allergy is defined as an abnormal reaction that occurs at a dose normally tolerated by healthy subjects.

This reaction is not of toxic origin (otherwise everyone would react), nor is it linked to an intolerance (in case of enzyme deficiency)" informs Dr. Habib Chabane, an allergist in Paris.

A food allergy is therefore a reaction of hypersensitivity to a food.

Food allergies can be immediate reaction: they are IgE 1 dependent, or delayed reaction: they are non-IgE dependent.

Frequency of food allergy in babies

"In France, between 6 and 7% of children under 16 have food allergies according to their parents," says Dr. Habib Chabane. However, only 1% of children have an immediate allergy confirmed by an oral provocation test in the hospital.

"Severe forms of food allergy, called anaphylaxis, are quite rare in infants (children under 2 years old).

It is estimated that anaphylaxis in children is 5-20%. Severe allergic reactions appear mainly in school age, that is, beyond 3 years old," he adds.

The foods involved

"The first food implicated in non-IgE-dependent delayed allergies is cow's milk, and this until the age of one year.

Among the foods involved after diversification, another common allergen is egg, but other foods such as legumes, wheat, soy, fish, and after 18 months may also be involved.

Nuts and peanuts" reports the allergist who points out that 50% of peanut allergies are diagnosed before the age of 3.

"They disappear in 80-90% of cases before the age of two when it comes to milk, eggs or wheat.


The most common allergies in babies are those that do not depend on IgE. "They can manifest as atopic eczema in babies. 20% of children have eczema.

This condition associated with allergy can be associated with sensitization to milk proteins, egg, wheat, peanuts, says the allergist.

Digestive allergies are the second most common form of non-IgE-dependent food allergy: babies regurgitate abnormally, several times a day and systematically after bottle-feeding or breastfeeding.

This gastroesophageal reflux will cause a very painful esophagitis (the baby cries a lot, asks to be breastfed continuously, wakes up 5 or 6 times a night...), vomits and/or has diarrhea, reports Dr. Habib Chabane.

This can lead to Immunoglobulin E growth disorder with a slowdown or even a break in the weight curve.

This is a sign that should be alarming," warns the allergist. "More rarely, a delayed food allergy can result in bloody stools.

This is called hemorrhagic proctocolitis with milk protein in babies. This signal should stop the cow's milk protein immediately.

"But parents should be sure that it is a mild form that heals in 2 to 4 months.

Vomiting and chronic diarrhea in a bottle-fed infant without an identified cause, or recurrent episodes of uncontrollable vomiting, often accompanied by lethargy during dietary diversification, should suggest a dietary protein enterocolitis syndrome (DPEIS).

The foods involved are cow's milk, cereals (wheat, rice, oats), eggs, meat (chicken, turkey), fish, legumes...

"Dr. Habib Chabane points out that this is a rather rare form of allergy. "In children, an immediate IgE-dependent food allergy is most often manifested by acute urticaria (itchy red spots) and/or angioedema (swelling).

Anaphylaxis is rare before age 2 and sometimes difficult to diagnose. The diagnosis is based on visible signs: the child has swollen, has difficulty breathing, has vomited, has lost consciousness "informs the allergist.

Baby food allergy and hives: what to do?

If your baby develops hives or swelling from eating, you should make an appointment with your doctor or pediatrician to see what the child has eaten.

He or she will refer you to an allergist who will do skin and even blood tests on your child.

What to do?

"It should be noted that the particularity of food allergies in infants is that they disappear in 80-90 % of cases before the age of 2 years when it comes to milk, eggs or wheat" informs the allergist.

Only 1% of babies with cow's milk protein allergy are still allergic at age 6. Egg and wheat allergy, beef allergy also quickly disappears.

However, some allergies persist. "Peanut and hazelnut allergies disappear spontaneously in only 20% of cases.

Allergies to fish, fruits (kiwi) and vegetables (lentils, peas) persist in 50% of the cases," says the allergist.

As for treatment, hives and edema are symptoms that are usually well controlled by taking an antihistamine.

Sometimes an oral corticosteroid is necessary. However, "in case of anaphylactic shock it is necessary to inject adrenaline. Pediatric epinephrine injection is designed for children between 15 and 25 kg, but there is no risk of overdose if it is to be used for a child weighing 10 kg or more, reports Dr. Habib Chabane.

The treatment of food allergies is also based on eviction.

Non-IgE mediated forms of food allergy, such as SEIPA, usually disappear in the eviction regime after an average of 2-3 years, but more rarely in the case of fish.

In addition to eviction, tolerance induction for immediate IgE-dependent allergies to milk, egg, wheat can be implemented in conjunction with the allergist.

This works less well with other foods," says the allergist. It consists of taking progressively increasing daily doses of the food until tolerance of a normal portion of the food is achieved.

"A new treatment for peanut allergy will soon arrive in France, at the latest in 2021," announces Dr. Habib Chabane.

This treatment for children from 4 to 11 years of age will allow them to acquire tolerance to peanuts within 12 to 24 months with capsules containing increasing amounts of a standardized allergen.

It is not known if it will be permanent when the treatment is stopped," he explains.

Other patch treatments are being evaluated for peanut allergies (planned for 2021) and later for milk and egg allergies. "


Prevention measures have changed as a result of studies conducted just over a decade ago. "These studies showed that the early introduction of foods statistically reduced allergies," says Dr. Habib Chabane.

The recommendations Today are going to introduce all foods, including those considered highly allergenic (peanuts or nuts, for example) around 6 months, but not before 4 months, and no later than 11-12 months," he says.

Introducing all potential food allergens before one year allows the immune system to develop tolerance, the allergist says.

However, if the child has an allergic reaction, the introduction of food should be stopped.
and consult a specialist.

You may be interested:

If you want to know other articles similar to Baby's food allergy: symptoms, what to do? you can visit the category Health.

You may be interested in:


We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site, we will assume that you agree to it. You can also click Accept, to consent to the use of all cookies. Read More...