Causes of allergies in infants

The most common type of allergy in an infant is cow’s milk protein allergy. Its characteristic symptom is a rash, often accompanied by chronic diarrhea. In addition to proteins / cow’s milk ingredients, the allergens responsible for the child’s abnormal response may also include: chicken eggs, wheat, fish and nuts.

Where does the baby’s allergy come from?

Infant allergies

Allergy is an abnormal reaction of the body that occurs after contact with a sensitizing factor, i.e. an allergen. Sometimes the body misinterprets some harmless substances, such as cow’s milk protein as harmful, and triggers the processes of controlling an “intruder”. The consequence of the whole process is an allergic reaction. Infants are a group with a particular risk of allergy, which results, among others, from from the immaturity of the immune system and the body’s defense mechanisms. Environmental factors, such as cigarette smoke or antibiotic therapy, can also cause allergies in children [1]. It is also important that allergies in infants are closely related to genetic loads.

How does an allergy appear in an infant?

Infant allergies

The result of a small child’s allergy is a systemic reaction of the body that affects the skin and two respiratory and digestive systems. There may be symptoms such as:
• watery nasal discharge;
• rash, which mainly occurs in the elbow bends and takes on the papular-pustular form;
• chronic diarrhea [1].

It is worth remembering that similar symptoms may occur with food intolerance. Therefore, after observing the above-mentioned symptoms, you should consult pediatrics and perform basic diagnostic tests.

What to do in case of an allergy in an infant?

The basis in the dietary management of a diagnosed allergy in an infant is the elimination diet, which consists in excluding a given allergen from the child’s diet. In the case where an allergy to cow’s milk protein occurs in a breastfed child, the mother’s actual diet is an elimination diet. In this situation, she should use a non-dairy diet. However, when an infant is fed with modified milk, after consulting a specialist, you should opt for a milk replacer – a significant degree of hydrolyzate, the recipe of which was created for children with such problems [2].

Similarly, when expanding a child’s diet with food allergies, you must use an elimination diet that is best consulted with your doctor. In the case of allergies to cow’s milk protein, choose non-dairy products, use substitute milk preparations, and ensure that the diet is optimized accordingly. The primary goal of treating allergies in infants is to achieve food tolerance, which usually occurs between 3 and 5 years of age. Only about 20 percent children “do not grow out” from allergies [1].

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