Shellfish allergies in Atlanta children.

Shellfish are one of the leading causes of allergic reactions in children. Parents in Atlanta and the surrounding area should understand the symptoms and learn why they need to seek a shellfish allergy management plan for their children.

Understanding a Shellfish Allergy

The various types of shellfish – including lobster, crab, shrimp, clams, scallops, mussels and octopus – can potentially have life-threatening consequences for an allergic child. In fact, as many as 1.3% of US kids may have an allergy to shellfish. Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center is on hand to guide you and your child through the process of addressing a shellfish allergy.

The Main Symptoms of Shellfish Allergies in Children

As with other allergies, shellfish allergy sensitivity will vary between children. One child may be allergic to a range of shellfish, while another may react to a specific type. Shellfish are grouped into the categories of either mollusk (oystertypes) or crustacean (shrimp & lobster types), but this by itself won’t determine what causes a reaction, and the severity of it. To find out the exact cause, your child will need to undergo allergy testing. Therefore, avoiding all shellfish is the safest approach until your allergist has provided a diagnosis.

When your child consumes shellfish (or any other food), be vigilant and aware of possible symptoms like the following that will help indicate sensitivity or the cause of an allergy:

  • Breathing Problems
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Stomach Pain
  • Skin Rash
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Face Swelling

A severe reaction to shellfish could cause anaphylaxis. In this circumstance, your child may experience an extreme case of breathing issues, lightheadedness and/or fainting. Should this occur, call emergency services immediately to ensure your child gets treated promptly. Also, carrying an epinephrine auto-injector is crucial for a child suffering from severe allergic reactions.

The unpredictability of a shellfish allergy is an extra concern for parents. An allergic reaction could occur at any age, even if an individual has previously consumed shellfish without issue. This unpredictability is also found in the severity of the allergic reaction. Just because an allergic reaction was very mild doesn’t mean it will not worsen during future events. For these reasons, speaking with your allergist will get to the root of the problem and find an appropriate treatment plan.

Diagnosing Your Child’s Shellfish Allergy

To fully understand whether or not your child is allergic to shellfish, it is essential to take part in food allergy testing. The most common tests are a skin prick test, a blood test, plus the oral food challenge. Clinical testing results will help you pinpoint the exact trigger or triggers for your child’s allergy. You can then take precautions to avoid the problem foods in your child’s diet. If you want to go the extra mile, oral immunotherapy treatment will help desensitize your child to shellfish, thereby reducing the risks of an unexpected allergic reaction.

Start Managing a Shellfish Allergy Today

When you think your child may have a shellfish allergy, it is important to seek medical attention. Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center has experienced allergists, helping children and adults from food allergy treatment center locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call us at 678-668-4688 to make an appointment.

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