Like any parent, you may have wondered when your child can start eating shellfish for fear of allergic reactions. Tointroduce any new food into the child’s diet you have to be careful in case that specific food can cause a reaction in your little one. But there are foods that are more dangerous than others when it comes to allergic reactions, and shellfish is one of them.
Tips you should know
For most babies, doctors recommend waiting until 9 months to introduce fish (such as flounder or salmon) and until 12 months to try shellfish (such as shrimp, clams, and lobster). This is because shellfish in particular are among the top allergy-causing foods, and waiting until your baby’s immune system is more developed can reduce the risk of a reaction.
There are health professionals who advise waiting even longer (up to age 3) to start feeding your child shellfish if there are severe allergies in the family. If your baby has already shown signs of being allergic to other foods, or has experienced symptoms of seasonal allergies, eczema or asthma. It is best to talk to your pediatrician to discuss your child’s specific case and to guide you on when is the best time for them to consume shellfish knowing their individual characteristics.
Make sure you that your baby can eat other things now
Before giving him shellfish, you have to make sure that the baby is used to eating fruits, vegetables and poultry. Avoid feeding your child high levels of mercury (swordfish, shark, mackerel, or whalefish), and limit the weekly amount of light canned tuna (lower in mercury than other types).
You also have to wait to offer sushi to your child (your pediatrician will have their own rules about this, but generally at least from one year) since many of the bacteria that can appear in raw fish could make them sick mild to an adult, but may have more serious side effects for a young child.
Pay attention to possible allergic reactions
When you decide to give your child shellfish because you already believe that he can eat it and that there is no danger of allergy, you should not lower your guard at any time. ment. You have to watch for signs of allergies when you give your children shellfish, at least the first few times they try it.
As a precaution, do not introduce any other new food for five to seven days after giving shellfish for the first time. If your child experiences food allergy symptoms, this practice helps reduce shellfish as the most likely food or culprit.
Possible symptoms that your child may be experiencing an allergic reaction to shellfish include:
- Itchy skin
- Swelling of the face or mouth
- Difficulty breathing
- Runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
You will need to contact your pediatrician immediately if you notice your child developing any of these symptoms after eating shellfish. Severe symptoms (such as anaphylactic shock) warrant an immediate trip to the ER.