Nut Allergy in Kids: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Your baby is hives-ridden. Solids have been introduced slowly, but nothing new has been introduced in a few days. Even so, you enjoyed a peanut butter sandwich before feeding your child and are wondering if any peanut butter accidentally entered their system. Although your baby has hives, you believe she is doing well, but her family has peanut allergies, so you are concerned. In this article on, we will tell you briefly about nut allergy in kids, its symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention. Let’s start!

Your two-year-old’s mouth feels itchy after eating walnuts, and they are crying. It is unclear if they have eaten walnuts before. As a result, you are worried about your child having an allergic reaction because you are unaware whether they have eaten walnuts before.

Parental concerns about an allergic reaction in our child are not uncommon – we have all wondered if our child is showing signs of an allergic reaction. Allergies to nuts are especially frightening because we have heard stories of children losing their lives because of an allergic reaction.

Nuts and Nut Allergies: An Overview

The term “nuts” is a broader topic, and a child could be allergic to two different categories of nuts. A peanut (which is actually a legume) is the first type. Second, the tree nut category includes almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, and walnuts.

Tree nuts and peanuts are two of the eight most common foods to cause allergies. Food allergies affect one in five American children. Peanuts, tree nuts, as well as fish and shellfish, are among the most common food allergens.

The most common allergy is to peanuts. It is estimated that 2.5% of children are allergic to peanuts, and that number has risen 20% since 2010. The American College Of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology reports this figure. While peanut allergies and tree nut allergies are different allergies, they are related: about 25-40% of all people with peanut allergies also have tree nut allergies.

What are the most common nuts that cause allergic reactions?

A child’s most common allergic reaction occurs to peanuts. Cashews and walnuts are the most likely tree nuts to cause a reaction in people who are allergic to trees.

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When does an allergic reaction in a child occur after eating nuts?

Our minds tend to associate allergies with immediate reactions to allergens. However, some allergic reactions happen slowly, while others occur suddenly. An allergic reaction usually occurs within minutes to two hours after exposure to conventional food.

A child’s allergic reaction is often timed about its severity.

Those reactions that occur almost instantly, such as within a few minutes to one hour, are the most concerning. You can tell whether your child has a nut allergy based on how long it takes them to present with symptoms.

Symptoms of Nut Allergies

Nut allergies present different symptoms from child to child and can be influenced by what type of nut the child is allergic to as well as the severity of their allergy. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, an allergic person may react even to very small amounts of an allergen, such as 1/44,000 of a peanut kernel.

When an allergic child’s immune system overreacts, they develop symptoms. Histamine is released from the child’s body when he is exposed to the nut protein to defend himself. Food allergies are characterized by the presence of excessive amounts of histamine.

Which Symptoms Are Most Common?

Children can suffer from mild, moderate, and severe allergies when it comes to nuts. Your child’s reaction may vary depending on his or her age.

In children and babies, hives and vomiting are the most common signs of nut allergies. Children older than eight have a more severe case of anaphylaxis (a severe and sometimes fatal allergic reaction). These symptoms may also include swelling and wheezing.

Itches, runny noses, coughing, and sneezing are also common symptoms of nut allergies. In addition to a swelling of the eyelid, diarrhea, and dizziness may also occur.

A person experiencing anaphylaxis should seek emergency medical care if they encounter such symptoms as severe dizziness, a drop in blood pressure, and shock.

What Symptoms Might Be More Difficult to Detect?

Nut allergies usually manifest themselves in one or more of the following ways. An allergy to nuts might present itself in subtler ways at times.

A child who cannot yet express their symptoms, such as stomach aches or sleepiness, may be overlooked. A sense of panic or confusion can also be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Reactions to Nut Allergies

Additionally, understanding the differences between mild and more severe allergic reactions can be helpful when looking for indications of allergy.

Is Milder Reaction Possible?

Mild allergic reactions to nuts may appear as runny or itchy noses, itchy mouths, sneezing, and mild stomach discomfort. Having some “scattered hives” on your child could indicate that he or she is experiencing a mild allergic reaction. Perhaps only one side of their lip is swollen.

How Might a Nut Allergy Emergency Look like?

Whenever your child is having an allergic reaction, it is important to treat it immediately if it is severe. If you have a medication that can be administered immediately, such as an EpiPen, call 911 immediately.

Hives and swelling all over the body, trouble breathing or swallowing, feeling faint or passing out, and repetitive vomiting are signs of a severe allergic reaction. Generally, nut allergies occur rapidly after exposure. Symptoms include swelling of the eyelids and lips, coughing, drooping of the eyes, itching, and hives.

In your child’s case, do not hesitate to give the emergency medication and call 911 if they are suffering from an allergic reaction. As far as severe allergic reactions are concerned, it is always a good idea to follow your instincts.

Alleviating Nut Allergies

You should see your pediatrician or allergist if you suspect your child has a nut allergy. You may be referred to a pediatric allergist if your pediatrician suspects your child has a nut allergy.

Consult an allergist if you think you may be sensitive to peanuts or tree nuts, one who is familiar with the nuances of diagnosing such allergies.

Testing for Nut Allergies

Your allergist will likely run some tests to further understand your child’s allergies after taking a detailed history of your child’s allergy experiences, including past exposures and possible reactions. A blood test and skin prick test will be included.

Your child’s blood is tested for immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies as well as for food allergies. Blood test results help you know how your child’s immune system will react to foods they may be allergic to.

During a skin test, a small amount of the allergen is applied to your child’s skin, punctured, and tested for reactions, such as bumps on the skin. During an oral food challenge, the allergist will feed the allergen to your child and monitor the reaction.

Nut Allergies: How to Treat Them

To treat your child’s nut allergy, you should avoid all nut consumption. Since nuts are a common ingredient in prepackaged ingredients, baking mixes, and sauces, this is not as easy as it sounds. Having a nut allergy means that you will have to read labels very carefully.

It is also possible that cross-contamination occurs, so look for warnings such as “produced on equipment that previously processed peanuts or tree nuts.”

Furthermore, you will need to have medication on hand should you be exposed to the allergen, which can happen even if you have taken all of the necessary precautions. We recommend the use of Benadryl as a treatment for mild symptoms isolated to one area. When severe symptoms occur, be sure to use an EpiPen or other epinephrine auto-injector immediately.

Additionally, you need to go over your child’s treatment plan with your doctor thoroughly and openly. Taking this step will help you succeed as a parent with allergies. Children should have an individualized assessment and treatment plan, and these providers can provide direct counseling on strategies for avoiding food and reading labels.

Nut Allergies: How to prevent them

You may wonder what you can do to prevent your child from developing nut allergies if nut allergies are a family tradition or if the possibility of a nut allergy runs in your family. Food allergies are not entirely preventable (they just happen sometimes), but early exposure to allergens is effective at reducing their risk.

It’s highly recommended that you introduce common allergens to your child as early as 4-6 months according to the Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) and the USDA. Introduce ALL common allergens around the age of 4-6 months to reduce risks.

Several experts have stated that the introduction of nuts to children in the 4-6 month range is a crucial step if they have a high risk of allergies, such as those with a family history. If your child will be exposed to allergens, you should consult with your pediatrician about how and when to do so.

A Word from

In the unlikely event that your child suddenly begins exhibiting allergic reactions after consuming nuts like peanuts or tree nuts, you can understand your concerns, and you may even feel panicked. There is nothing more frightening than seeing your child sick or feeling miserable due to allergies. Take your child’s symptoms seriously if they seem to indicate an allergic reaction but don’t panic if they appear to indicate something else.

Contact your pediatrician’s office for advice or an appointment if the symptoms seem mild. In the event, your child shows any signs of a severe reaction, such as difficulty breathing, full-body hives, vomiting, or shock, call 911 or bring your child to the nearest hospital immediately.


[1]. Nut and Peanut Allergy: Johns Hopkins

[2]. Food Allergies in Children: Johns Hopkins