What to do when a child develops a rash after eating strawberries?
An estimated eight percent of children suffer from a food-related allergy. A strawberry allergy in kids is found to be more prevalent than in the mere three percent of adults with general food allergies. Unique proteins found in strawberries can cause a physical reaction in your child if he or she is sensitive to them. If your family has a history of food allergies, it is likely that your child may be intolerant to strawberries.
What Are the Signs of a Strawberry Allergy
The certain proteins in strawberries that cause an allergy in kids is recognized by their immune systems as a harmful, foreign substance. Attempting to protect the body, the immune system releases histamines against strawberry proteins (which causes the irksome allergy symptoms). The type of allergic reaction that the child will have is dependent upon where the histamines are released in the body.
In order to diagnose a strawberry allergy in kids, a simple and virtually painless skin test can be performed by a pediatrician. The doctor will scratch a relatively small needle with a harmless amount of the allergenic strawberry protein against a small part of the child's skin. In after about thirty minutes, if irritation, redness, or bumps are formed on or around the tested site, it is almost unarguable that the child has a strawberry intolerance.
What are the signs of a strawberry allergy?
Aside from a skin test, when verifying a strawberry allergy in kids, the child will present with any number of these allergy symptoms:
- Swelling, itching, or tingling on the lips or tongue, or in the mouth and throat
- Itching or secretions from eyes or nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling or closing of bronchial tubes
If you or your child experience any of these symptoms after ingesting strawberries, or after you have been in physical contact with strawberry products, consult your doctor or your child's pediatrician immediately. While in some cases, only the mild symptoms may occur, it cannot be predicted whether or not there is a risk for anaphylactic shock, which can be traumatic and life-threatening to any individual.
It goes without saying that kids with a strawberry allergy should avoid coming into contact with, or ingesting products with strawberries, especially strawberries themselves. It is a myth that heating strawberries will change the molecular structure, so foods like jam or syrup will still be harmful to your allergic child if produced from real strawberries.
Artificial strawberry flavorings, however, are safe to indulge in because they lack the harmful proteins that kids with a strawberry allergy are irritated by. As a parent, it is challenging to constantly be around your child, making sure they do not ingest anything dangerous to them, so having your child wear a medic alert bracelet can be another preventative measure.
It is wise for a parent to remain vigilant and wary of food labels, as many everyday products may contain strawberries. If you send your child to a birthday party or have others bring food into your home, make it firmly known that your child has an allergy to strawberries. Though you may come off as a pushy parent, the extra effort can save your child's life.