Egg allergy like many other allergies is caused by the immune system reacting to the protein as if it is harmful, and around 2% of children suffer from an egg allergy, however just like milk allergy, they often outgrow this.
Despite this, egg allergy can be dangerous, and children’s reactions can range from a skin rash to life threatening anaphylaxis.
Children who display signs and symptoms of egg allergy should see a doctor.
- Wheezing/ coughing/ difficulty breathing
- Throat tightness
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting/ diarrhoea
- Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
- Hives/ red spots
- Feeling lightheaded/ confused/ passing out
Often egg allergy is diagnosed by blood or skin prick tests. Blood tests can be carried out by your GP or Paediatrician, however skin prick testing is usually carried out at a specialist centre or by an allergy specialist. Food challenges can also be carried out under medical supervision to see if an allergic reaction develops following ingestion. Egg free trials can be a non invasive form of diagnosis to see if symptoms resolve once the allergen is excluded, however this should be done under the guidance of a Dietitian.
If your child has an egg allergy, they might be allergic to:
- all forms of egg, whether they are cooked or not
- only raw egg (for example, in cake mix and mayonnaise) or slightly cooked eggs like scrambled egg
If your child falls into the latter category, they may still be able to eat baked foods that contain egg, such as cakes and biscuits. But for those who are allergic to even well-cooked egg, the reaction can be severe, so it’s important to avoid all products that contain it.
Avoidance of eggs is the main treatment for egg allergy, and this should be done under the support and guidance of a Dietitian to minimise any accidents that may cause an allergic reaction, and to ensure good nutrition for healthy growth. Doctors may also prescribe topical treatments and medications. Your Dietitian or Doctor will advise you when and how to reintroduce egg into your child’s diet, as this will differ between children.
Has your child got an egg allergy? Please comment below or get in touch via the contact button on my profile to share your experiences