Food allergies are thought to affect somewhere between six and eight percent of kids younger than five. This means that there are a lot of allergy-aware people out there. If your child has food allergies, with the help of an allergist you need to figure out exactly what your child is allergic to. Once you know what foods pose a danger, you can build an allergy-risk-free diet for your son or daughter. The eight most common allergenic foods are milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. If your child is allergic to any of these, avoidance is relatively easy. Although these ingredients are very common, the government requires packaged foods to state on the label whether they contain any of these eight components. By making a habit of reading packaging, you can find products that are safe for kids with allergies.
In addition, you can make food at home that doesn't contain the foods your child is allergic to. The real trick is avoiding allergens at restaurants and at other people's houses. Always inquire how food was prepared and what ingredients are in it so that you can determine whether it poses an allergic risk for your child. Make sure his teachers and other caregivers are aware of his allergy so they can keep an eye on what he eats.
Since avoidance is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction, you have to be prepared for the chance that an allergen has gotten into your kid's mouth. If his reactions tend to be minor -- hives, runny nose, sneezing, diarrhea -- then make sure he has antihistamines with him at all times in order to relieve symptoms. If his reactions are more severe -- like asthma or anaphylaxis -- be sure that he carries an inhaler or epinephrine injection with him and that people know what to do should he have an allergic reaction.