Is it common for children to have food allergies to bananas?

By: Contributors

Overall, food allergies in children are relatively common. In fact, approximately five to eight percent of children experience food allergies. The prevalence of food allergies in adulthood, however, is only around one percent. This is due to two factors: an increase in allergies in the newest generation of children, and an ability for the immune system to overcome allergies after puberty [source: EHP].

Nearly one-third of American mothers report at least one allergic reaction to food in their child. A child must have multiple allergic reactions to a certain food, however, to receive a diagnosis of a food allergy [source: EHP]. Many people think that banana allergies are fairly rare; indeed, children tend to experience allergic reactions to other foods more often, such as eggs, milk, and nuts. Surprisingly, though, banana allergies are relatively common. In fact, 11 percent to 16 percent of children and adults worldwide experience allergic reactions to bananas [source: EHP].


Children who are allergic to ragweed and/or pollen are at increased risk of developing a banana allergy. A ragweed/pollen allergy also predisposes a child for allergic reactions to melons (e.g., cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon) and tomatoes. Your child is at risk for developing a banana allergy if there's a family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever [source: Mayo Clinic]. If you are concerned that your child may have an allergy to bananas, ask your doctor about an allergy test. Typical symptoms of a banana allergy include tingling or itching on the tongue or mouth, hives, red splotches, swelling of the eyes, tongue, and throat, and abdominal pain, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea [source: Mayo Clinic]. Seek immediate medical attention if your child experiences an anaphylactic reaction to bananas. This reaction causes constriction of the airways, resulting in significant difficulty with breathing [source: Mayo Clinic].