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Feature Article

‘Does my child have a food allergy?’

Preeti Joshi

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Abstract

Avoidance, education about management of an acute reaction and optimal treatment of other atopic conditions, particularly asthma, are the mainstays of treatment of food allergy in children. Guidelines for the prevention of food allergy have changed recently.

Key Points

  • IgE mediated food allergy usually presents within 30 minutes of exposure to the trigger food.
  • Most food allergy reactions are mild.
  • Most children with mild atopic dermatitis do not have a true food allergy. Treating the underlying skin condition is still the mainstay of treatment in these children.
  • Dietary manipulation is complicated and should be managed in conjunction with a specialist and dietitian.
  • Optimal treatment of atopic conditions should be ensured in children with food allergies.
  • Asthma is a risk factor for a severe food-related allergic reaction.

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