Food allergy reactions can take many different forms. They can be different for each person, and they can be different with each reaction.
Parents are so worried that their baby will have a reaction that they wait to introduce foods.
The Truth About Allergic Reactions in Babies
But here’s the most amazing news. A study showed that infants with allergic reactions typically only have hives and vomiting. It is almost unheard of for babies under or around 6 months to have a life-threatening response to early food introduction.
In fact, the signs of an egg allergy in babies are so “mild” that they can be very similar to a cold and may take a few minutes to an hour to show.
REMINDER: Whenever you introduce any food for the first time (people can be allergic to anything) do it when you or another caregiver will be around the baby for the next 2 hours. Don’t feed your baby a new food and then hand them off to someone else who wouldn’t know what they ate.
Severe symptoms in babies under 12 months are extremely rare. And the younger the baby, the less likely they can or do have a severe reaction.
BUT - whenever two body systems are affected (skin hives + vomiting / diarrhea), OR if the baby’s blood pressure drops, immediately call 911.
Symptoms of an Egg Allergy
The symptoms you are most likely to see in a baby (<12 months) who reacts when they eat eggs are:
- Skin hives (95% of the time) - These are red bumps or patches that are itchy.
- Redness around the mouth or chin.
- Facial Swelling including puffiness around the eyes (36%).
- Runny or stuffy nose. Sometimes there’s also clear discharge, redness, and itchiness of the nose.
- Vomiting. (89%) The baby throws up (more than standard spit up) within a couple hours after eating eggs.
- Diarrhea. Particularly smelly, funny colored, or more than normal poop.
FAR less common (0-9% chance) in babies under the age of 1, but much more likely in toddlers and children are:
- Swelling around the mouth including the lips and perhaps even the tongue
- Wheezing and coughing
- Fever of 97 degrees or higher.
- Swelling in the throat seen as difficulty swallowing
- Weak heart pulse
If you notice any of the above symptoms, mild or severe, call your doctor immediately. It’s always good to inform your doctor and check in whenever you are worried about your baby.