Shellfish Allergy In Kids – 4 Types, 6 Symptoms And 6 Precautions

Shellfish Allergy In Kids

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Were you taken by surprise when you heard your little one saying, “I feel there is a frog in my throat?”

Well, that is a normal expression used by little ones to let you know about the discomfort they are feeling. As parents, you would have tried your best to find out what triggered that reaction.

Alas! You would have found that consumption of shellfish is what triggered the reaction in your baby.

What Is Shellfish Allergy?

Your child’s body might react in different ways as a response to a sudden change in his or her body. That change might have been triggered due to consumption of shellfish.

  • A reaction like irritation of the skin, itching sensation in the throat, ears, tongue, mouth, etc. are examples of an allergic reaction that can happen minutes or hours after eating a food that the child is allergic to.
  • Shellfish allergy is different from sea food allergy as sea food includes fish; biologically speaking, fish and shell fish are different species.

[ Read: Soy Allergy In children ]

Types Of Shellfish Allergy:

Shellfish allergy can be of two types caused mainly due to crustaceans which are mainly lobster, crab and shrimps and the other one is caused due to mollusks that are mainly scallops, oysters, mussels and clams.

  1. Your child may be allergic to any one or both the forms of shellfish allergy.
  2. Shellfish allergy is not only restricted to the ingestion of shellfish, but can be caused even if your child touches a shellfish or breathes in the vapor caused due to cooking of a shellfish.
  3. Children who have a family history of shellfish allergy might be more susceptible to it.
  4. Shellfish allergy cannot be outgrown with time and it tends to remain with the child for the rest of the life.

[ Read: Food Allergy Symptoms In Kids ]

Symptoms Of Shellfish Allergy:

The symptoms of shellfish allergy are very much similar to the way a child’s boy reciprocates to other allergens like nuts, milk, etc.

  • The reaction of the body is due to the release of a hormone named histamine and the body of your little one tends to fight the proteins of the shellfish.
  • Usually the immune system of your little one treats the protein of the shellfish as foreign entrants and in its attempt to safeguard the body the allergic reactions occur.

Some of the shellfish allergy symptoms are as follows:

  1. Itchy, reddish and swollen areas on the skin known as hives
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Stomach ache
  4. Vomiting or a feeling of dizziness or nausea
  5. Sudden drop in blood pressure
  6. Wheezing or difficulty in breathing

If any of the above symptoms intensifies than it can also lead to a life threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

[ Read: Peanut Allergy In Children ]

Precautions To Be Taken Against Shellfish Allergy:

Having known about shellfish allergy in details, you would now definitely want to know, the ways you can protect your little one from suffering any discomfort due to this allergy.

Some of the major steps that you can take towards safeguarding your child are as follows:

  1. As soon as you suspect shell fish allergy, take your child to a doctor and get his medicines.
  2. Ensure that you keep inject-able epinephrine handy all the time in order to deal with any severe allergic reactions.
  3. Teach your child to shun all food that has shellfish in it. You can also have your child wear a medical alert bracelet.
  4. Inform the school authorities, your relatives or anyone with whom your child may come in contact with that your child is allergic to shellfish and necessary precautionary measures need to be taken.
  5. Whether it’s a regular restaurant you visit or it’s a purchase of canned food, ensure that you check with the restaurant about foods that do have shellfish so that you can avoid them.
  6. Even the labels of the cans need to be read carefully in order to avoid bringing home any product that might have shellfish. It is a norm now, that the allergic ingredients should be mentioned in simple language in the labels of the canned food.

[ Read: Vitamin D Deficiency In Children ]

It is understandable that it is worrying for you to see your child in any form of discomfort due to an allergic reaction. However, make the best use of the precautionary tips mentioned above and you will be able to take care of your child with ease.

If you have any tips regarding shellfish allergy, please share them with us in the section below!

References : 1 , 2

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