Fruit allergies

 
Contributed by : Ravina Sewani   
Fruit allergies

Not every child will have an allergy towards the same fruit. Every child's immune system reacts differently towards different fruits. The allergic reaction, however, is more or less the same towards any kind of fruit.

Practically, a child can be allergic towards any fruit but the most common are apples, pears, cherries, peaches, melons, plums, kiwis.


Causes: Proteins present in the fruit that the child is allergic to.


Symptoms: Symptoms usually show up minutes after a child has been exposed to a fruit that (s)he is allergic to. Sometimes, the symptoms might show up after a few hours.The symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing or dry cough
  • Eczema (a dry, itchy rash) or hives (reddish, swollen, itchy areas on the skin)
  • Redness of the skin around the mouth or eyes
  • Itchy mouth, ear canal or lip swelling, odd taste in the mouth
  • Nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea or stomach pain
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Severe reactions include loss of consciousness, chest pain, turning pale, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, or anaphylaxis


Diagnosis:

  • The first thing is to not self-diagnose. Always rely on a healthcare expert's diagnosis.
  • A healthcare expert will examine your child's symptoms, his/her health history, and conduct other tests if required, to confirm whether your child has an allergy towards particular foods or not.
  • The doctor might get a blood test or a skin prick test done for your child.


Foods to avoid:

  • Fresh fruit to which the child is allergic.
  • Fresh fruit juice.
  • Desserts or food dishes which contain the fruit to which your child is allergic.
  • Fruit flavoured packed foods.


Treating allergies:

  • The best way to prevent allergies of any sort in children is to avoid the source of the allergen.
  • In allergies, paediatricians usually prescribe antihistamine medicines for mild allergic reactions. Whereas for severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, your child’s paediatrician will prescribe an adrenaline auto-injector (AAI).


Precautions:

  • Develop a habit of reading the food labels for ingredients and allergy information.
  • Teach your child to mention about the allergy whenever (s)he goes to visit someone.
  • Inform your child’s school about your child’s allergy. You can also give the medicines prescribed by your child’s doctor to the school which they can use in case of sudden allergic reactions.
  • Be careful about the possibility of cross-contact; especially when visiting a restaurant.
  • Always keep the allergy medication handy for your child.



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