Egg allergy in children is very common. Therefore, it is important for parents to be careful in introducing foods to your baby. Both the egg yolks and egg whites can cause an allergic reaction to children. However, egg white allergy is more common than egg yolk allergy. Egg allergy happens because the immune system recognizes certain egg protein as a harmful substance. Therefore, it releases histamine that causes allergic reactions.
Risk factors and symptoms of egg allergy
Some children are more prone to egg allergy while others are not. Certain children have a higher risk of developing egg allergy because they have risk factors.
- Family history
One of the risk factors is family history. Children who have parents with food allergy, another type of allergy, or asthma have higher possibility to suffer from an egg allergy.
- Atopic Dermatitis
Another risk factor is atopic dermatitis. Kids may develop this skin condition from babies. And kids who have this allergy have a high risk of suffering from food allergy.
Age is also a risk factor. Kids who are introduced to egg protein at a younger age may suffer from an egg allergy. It is because the digestive system is not mature enough. Some children who have egg allergy may be free from egg allergy as they grow older. It is because the children’s digestive system is more mature.
The symptoms of egg allergy are varied from one child to another. Some children suffer from those symptoms right after they eat eggs. Others have those symptoms hours after consuming eggs. Some of the common symptoms are:
- - Hives or skin inflammation
- - Nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose
- - Nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting
- - Asthma-like symptoms
Egg allergy usually doesn’t cause anaphylaxis. However, if it happens, parents should take their kids to emergency care immediately. Anaphylaxis symptoms are a rapid pulse, shock, breathing difficulties, and stomach pain.
Treatments for egg allergy
Treatment for egg allergies depends on the symptoms that occur. Mild allergy symptoms can be treated with an antihistamine. However, severe allergy symptoms such as anaphylaxis need epinephrine shots.
Children with egg allergies need to avoid eating eggs and foods that have eggs in it. Therefore, it is important for parents to read food labels carefully. It is also essential for kids to put on an allergy bracelet. It will help them to inform caregivers about their allergy when they suffer from severe allergic reactions.
Certain foods have an egg-free label. However, they may have egg protein in them even though they are not made of eggs. Some of the foods that contain eggs and must be avoided are frostings, marshmallows, puddings, mayonnaise, salad dressing, and pretzels. People with egg allergy must also avoid food with globulin, albumin, livetin, lecithin, and vitelin. Those ingredients indicate egg protein in foods.
Egg protein is also used in vaccinations. They are MMR vaccines, yellow fever vaccines, and flu vaccines. Children with egg allergy usually will not have allergic reactions when they have MMR vaccines or flu vaccines. However, yellow fever vaccine can trigger allergic reaction. People with egg allergy are not recommended to have this vaccine. However, if they plan to travel to certain country, they will need to have this vaccine to be safe.