Egg Allergy In Children

Submitted by Nic on November 20, 2012

According to two studies that appeared in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology*, 'milk and egg allergies are the two most common food allergies in the United States, affecting 3 percent and 2 percent of children, respectively.' These studies also stated that contrary to popular opinion, these allergies persist well into childhood and beyond translating to more trouble for parents and children alike.

So what do you do if you suspect your child has an egg allergy? The first step is to keep a track of any allergic symptoms that he may exhibit in response to particular foods.

Symptoms of Egg Allergy in Children

Symptoms of an egg allergy in children often develop immediately after eating eggs (egg whites or egg yolks) or products containing eggs. In many cases however, reactions are less severe if the eggs have been cooked (as with cakes or baked dishes). In extreme cases, some children may even react adversely to any physical contact with raw eggs.

Common symptoms include hives, skin rashes, inflammation to the nasal passages, stomach cramps, and vomiting. A rare reaction to an egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis (difficulty in breathing, rapid pulse, and shock), which can be life threatening if not treated in time with an epinephrine shot.

Egg Allergy Treatment

If you think your child may have an egg allergy, consult with your doctor immediately. He will conduct a simple allergy skin prick test or a blood test (called a RAST test). Your doctor is the best person to interpret the results of these tests and advise you about the steps necessary for egg allergy treatment. Regular testing for allergies should be conducted as such allergies tend to alter and evolve in time.

Unfortunately, there is no medication available that can prevent such an allergy or for that matter treat the condition. The only thing you can do is to avoid eggs and egg products; though this could be a major task. Keeping your kid away from cakes, biscuits, sweets, dips, egg noodles or pasta, ice creams, breads, sausages, soups and even canned fruit may seem impossible. But if your child has an egg allergy it is the only option. All these products may contain some amount of egg or egg products and it is important to use common sense and read all food labels closely. Do not give your child any food containing eggs until you have cleared it with your doctor.

Recipes for Egg Allergies in Children

Do not despair though - there are several 'safe' variations on recipes available for children with egg allergies. For example, you could consider using an egg replacement product for baking or binding purposes. Make sure that you never use an egg substitute in such cases as these are designed more for people controlling their cholesterol levels and are considered unsafe for those suffering from egg allergies. Other possible substitutes for eggs include mashed banana, pureed apple, gelatin, and xanthan gum. While not easy, it is possible to keep your child safe and allergy free with the right amount of pre-planning and precautionary measures.


  • Reports on the two studies appear in the November and December issues of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Co-investigators in the two studies: Justin Skripak, M.D., Jessica Savage, M. D., Elizabeth Matsui, M.D., M.H.S, Kim Mudd, R.N., all of Hopkins Children's.
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