Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

How can I tell if my baby or child has an allergy?


A true allergic reaction generally follows the same symptom picture no matter if from food or from something in the environment. Signs to watch for include red patches or welts on the skin, swelling or itchy lips or eyes, runny nose, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. 

When starting new foods with your infant or child, monitoring for food allergies is important. The first exposure is usually a mild reaction; however, with subsequent expose, there is a high chance of a more dramatic reaction so care is needed when trying that food again. Ideally waiting two months and do not introduce anything new until the symptoms clear up. 

One way to slowly introduce a food you are concerned about is to place it on their cheek away from their mouths for 10-20 minutes to see if any redness or swelling develops. After this, wait 12-24 hours and monitor for symptoms, if none occur, then can try a small amount of their lips and again monitor for symptoms. This is a good strategy for first introduction of common food allergies such as peanuts – always chose natural non-hydrogenated peanut butter. It is ideal to speak with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about food introduction. 
If your child is developing seasonal or environmental allergies, they most likely will have more nasal congestion which could resemble a cold. The chart available in this post helps to distinguish between a cold, flu, and allergies. 

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The difference between colds, flu's and allergies