Early signs of a nut allergy to look out for in kids - and what to do 3 weeks ago

Early signs of a nut allergy to look out for in kids - and what to do

Figuring out whether or not your child has a nut allergy is no easy task.

If they have had any kind of reaction to a product containing peanuts or tree nuts, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

According to the Irish Food allergy Network, peanut is one of the most common food allergies in childhood and 85% of peanut allergic children react on their first exposure to peanut.

Knowing what to look out for is imperative when introducing them to your kid’s diet.

While 60-70% of first reactions are mild to moderate, 30-40% of first reactions involve wheeze and it’s important to know that wheezing and feeling faint are signs of anaphylaxis.

According to the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, allergies to peanuts and tree nuts are more common in people who have other allergic conditions, such as hay fever, asthma and eczema.

Children with a nut allergy may also be allergic to other foods such as milk, eggs, shellfish and other types of nut.

Peanut and tree nut allergies are most common in young children, but allergies can develop at any age - even in adulthood.

Signs and symptoms


An allergic reaction can include one or more of these symptoms, and it is possible that a number of them will happen at the same time:

  • hives, welts or wheals (a red, lumpy rash, like mosquito bites)
  • a tingling feeling in or around the mouth
  • stomach pain, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • facial swelling

In more severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur. This is a severe allergic reaction that involves issues with a person's breathing and/or circulation.

Any of the following symptoms indicates your child is having an anaphylactic reaction:

  • difficulty with breathing and/or noisy breathing
  • wheeze or persistent cough
  • swelling of the tongue
  • swelling and/or tightness in the throat
  • difficulty talking or hoarse voice
  • loss of consciousness or collapse
  • becoming pale and floppy (infants/young children)

You should call an ambulance immediately if your child has symptoms of anaphylaxis.

If your child has any kind of mild reaction to peanuts or other nuts, you should take them to the GP so they can confirm whether or not you child is allergic.

They will then be able to advise you on how to treat the reaction next time it occurs.


You may be referred to an allergy specialist to confirm the nut allergy and to advise on management.


Once your child has a confirmed nut allergy, your doctor will lay out an unique allergy action plan.

The best treatment for peanut or tree nut allergy is prevention, which means avoiding the specific nuts completely.

Nuts are hard to avoid because many foods are made in factories that may have used peanuts or nuts in other foods - and even in tiny amounts, peanuts and nuts can cause symptoms.

According to experts, one thing you need to ensure is that you teach your child not to share or swap food with others and to always wash their hands before eating.

For more information on nut allergies in children, visit: https://www.ifan.ie/peanut/