Allergic Reaction to Dairy in Children

Patient

Q: My son (5 years old) has an alergy to dairy products, he rubbed some chocolate on his lips and ate a small mint and his lips are swollen. I gave him benedryl a couple of hours ago and the swelling has gone down a tiny bit. In the past when he has consumed dairy, he usually vomits. Do you think he should go to ER?

Doctor

A:   Hello, I understand how concerned you are about your son’s probable allergy to dairy products. Firstly, if at the moment he has trouble breathing related to the ingestion of dairy products, you should take him to the E.R as soon as possible, but if he is stable and you only notice a rash or swollen lips you should not worry but keep alert to any changes.
One of the best ways to rule out allergy to dairy products is by avoiding these products for a couple of weeks and then re introduce them to your son in a low quantity first to see if the reaction happens again. There is also a blood test and a skin test that could help you rule out the diagnosis, I will suggest that your son’s pediatrician confirms the diagnosis with them.
Avoidance of specific foods is critical once a true food allergy has been diagnosed by your physician. Soy based formulas are available for infants with milk allergy. Patients allergic to milk must be extra vigilant because processed food may contain milk products labeled as "natural flavorings" or "seasonings. Frequently an emergency medication called Epinephrine is recommended, parents and children should be trained in how to use it when a severe allergic reaction happens. I hope I could clear your doubt, I wish him the best.

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