Can a Child Outgrow an Allergy?

We live in a time were it seems that everyone is allergic to SOMETHING. Eggs, milk, gluten, nuts, puppies. This is nothing new and it is a part of life that plagues many people. But why is it, though, that sometimes, years later, you mistakenly ingest something you were always told that you were allergic to….and nothing happens?

Did you know that you can actually outgrow your allergies? As people age, their bodies change, and so can their allergies.

According to the American Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more that 50 million Americans have some sort of allergy, and food allergies affect an estimated 4-6% of children.

The coolest fact, though? According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, more than one-quarter of children in the US with a food allergy will outgrow it by the age of 10.

A food allergy is usually noticed when you immune system overreacts to a food or substance. It will identify it as a danger to you, starting a chained reaction response such as itching, swelling of the mouth, lips, and throat, hives, and breathing difficulties.

Just like people can outgrow allergies, though, they can also grow into new ones. That is probably why as a child I have a beloved dog named Willy. He died when I was about 10 and we never got another one. Flash forward to when I was dating my now husband who had a dog. I walked in the house and almost died! I, in that short span of time, developed an allergy to dogs!

How can you tell if you or your child have developed a new allergy or outgrown a new one? Fortunately it doesn’t have to be when you accidentally eat that peanut butter cookie at your friends house or when your boyfriend introduces you to his dog. You can go right into a physicians office and they can diagnose you by your history, physical exams, and some testing. The test is called a scratch test and is administered by a specialist. This is not something that you would typically put an infant or young child through because it is mildly invasive, that is if the allergy isn’t severe.

Hopefully, if your child has a food allergy now, he or she will out grow it soon! And if not, just be sure that they are getting the proper tools and education to keep safe if they are exposed to that allergen.

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