Kids and Allergies: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Even if allergies last forever.

With max 50 percent of Australian children suffer from an allergy*, chances are your child, or someone else you know, needs to avoid dangerous triggers.

Whether it’s sneezing and sniffing spring pollen, or skin rashes, breathing difficulties or tummy upsets from certain foods, we asked Sarah Appleford, clinical nutritionist at Nutrition For Childrento share the ins and outs of allergies so we can keep our kids happy and healthy.

Why do children get allergies?

A food allergy is an abnormal immune system response to a food or environmental allergen, such as pollen, mold, dust, or pet fur. Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer to why some people suffer from allergies and others don’t, but it’s probably a combination of genetics, environment, and gut microbiome, and maybe some bad luck.

Do allergies last forever?

Not always. In reality, two thirds of the children grow out of their food allergies by the time they are four years old.

What can I do to improve my child’s health and nutrition if they have an allergy?

Fortunately, there are many substitutions for the most allergenic foods, so your child doesn’t have to miss out. Nut or oat milk is a great alternative for people with a cow’s milk allergy; and sunflower seed butter is a popular option for kids who need to cut out nuts.

The best thing any parent can do for their child’s diet is to get the basics right — aim for a variety of whole foods while minimizing intake of processed foods.

Does improving gut health help?

With 70-80 percent of our immune cells in the gut, there is growing evidence that a lack of diversity of gut bacteria – and dysfunction of the gut barrier – is linked to allergies. We want to help the beneficial bacteria populate and thrive, while keeping the pathogenic species in balance.

Time in nature and access to a nutrient-dense diet filled with whole foods, especially plants, is a good starting point. A naturopath or nutritionist can also help you find the right probiotic strains in the right dose, as well as sources of prebiotics to help your individual child.

How can I get other people to take my child’s allergy seriously?

Have an honest conversation about what happens when your child eats a certain food. When it comes to grandparents, maybe provide an alternative treat so they can still spoil your child without the consequences.

At the same time, educate your child so they understand how their bodies react to certain foods and empower them to make informed choices.

What’s the best way for parents to keep children with allergies safe?

The best way you can support your child is by getting an education. The Tiny Hearts Education A first aid course can help you build confidence about what to do if your child has an allergic reaction. Try to stay calm and act quickly if they have a reaction – remember that your child feeds on your emotions, so panicking could make their symptoms worse.

Consult a qualified, holistic health professional who will help you create a plan and strategies to help your child navigate life with allergies and reduce the overwhelm.

* https://www.health.vic.gov.au/chief-health-officer/allergies

For over 60 years, Children’s Panadol has been helping children of all ages to feel better again. You can rely on Children’s Panadol to quickly, effectively and temporarily relieve your child from pain and fever. Find the entire Panadol range for children at your local pharmacy.

Always read and follow the instructions for use. Incorrect use can be harmful. Seek medical advice for children under 3 months old.

Kids and Allergies: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions Answered

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