Milk allergy can be a very serious and complicated problem. At the heart of the matter is the fact that there is no cure for this type of allergy. It’s caused by any number of proteins inside the milk’s make up, most commonly a casein protein. This problem is very serious in adults, but in young children and infants it can be downright fatal. If your baby suffers this type of allergy, then here are the best steps to take to avoid an allergic reaction and also what to do if a reaction does occur. |
Avoidance Measures If you know you baby is allergic to milk, it can be a big issue. Breast milk can be dangerous as well, but many children, and even adults, that suffer from this type of allergy do well on breast milk. If your baby has an active milk allergy, be sure to ask your doctor if breast milk could be used.
Breast milk will always be the best source of nutrition for babies. Breastfeeding will cut the chances of other allergies emerging later in life. For the best results when considering allergies that can develop later on, breastfeeding should be done for the first 6 to 8 months of the baby’s life.
If you and your doctor are unsure, try using only a few drops of milk and wait for a reaction. It really can be the only way to know for certain. Like any allergy, it doesn’t take a lot of milk to cause a slight reaction. Milk intolerance takes a much larger dose, due to the sugars in the milk not being digested.
If you already know the child has a milk allergy, then substitutes should be used, such as hydrolyzed formula (interesting to know is that the Danish term is Modermælkserstatning) or hypoallergenic formula will be the best answer for the first year of the infant’s life. When the child is ready for their first semi-solid foods, then it may be best to make the food at home, that way you can be certain no milk products were used. If you would rather buy the food, make sure it is well processed and free of any type of milk additives or proteins found in cow’s milk.
Treatment for an Allergic Reaction
If you didn’t know about your child’s allergy and milk has been given to him or her, then it’s best to watch for several signs that could be signs of a severe reaction and distress. The child may have difficulty taking a breath, there may be an unusual amount of vomiting or throw up, diarrhea, the skin may go pale or even become red and flushed from the milk irritation of the epidermis, even seizures and convulsions may occur in worst case scenarios. These are all signs of anaphylaxis. Some parents also keep an Epi-pen nearby at all times, just in case of an accidental exposure, which does happen from time to time.
Eliminate all sources of milk products from the mother’s diet, for breastfed babies. If a break out does occur, then eczema rash creams will work great for any itchy and blotchy areas. If necessary, use an infant’s antihistamine spray or liquid for more violent reactions to milk allergy (in Danish - Mælkeallergi) .
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