Carrot Allergies in Infants
Food allergies are most often related to wheat, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, fish or shellfish and tree nuts. Carrot allergies are not common. In fact, carrots are considered to be one of the least likely foods to cause an allergic reaction, but allergies to any food are possible. If you are think your child is allergic to carrots or is having an allergic reaction, contact your doctor.
The very first time your baby has a new food she is allergic to, she most likely will not show symptoms of an allergy. The first time she eats it, her body identifies it as an invader and creates antibodies to fight the food. The second time she eats it, her body will detect the food and her immune system will launch its defense, causing symptoms of an allergic reaction. Some allergic reactions to a food such as carrots are hardly noticeable, causing only gas or fussiness. Other symptoms, such as a swollen throat, could be fatal.
If your baby is allergic to carrots, he will show some physical signs of the allergy. The American Pediatric Association's Healthy Children website states that some symptoms of an allergy include breaking out in hives, vomiting or having diarrhea, runny nose and sneezing, fussiness, fatigue, gas, wheezing, coughing and abdominal pain. Ruth Yaron, author of "The Super Baby Food Book," suggests waiting until your baby is at least 7 months old to introduce cooked carrots and at least 10 months before you offer him grated raw carrots. If you have tried carrots earlier than these ages and your child experienced an allergic reaction, talk to your doctor about reintroducing carrots as his system matures.
If your baby experiences trouble breathing, swelling in her face or lips or has severe diarrhea or vomiting soon after eating, seek medical attention immediately. If you are unsure whether the situation is an emergency, call for emergency help anyway. It is better to play it safe, since airways can become swollen and closed within minutes of eating an allergen. If your baby has a severe allergy to carrots, you may be advised by a doctor to carry an epinephrine auto-injector, which can stop allergic reactions upon injection.
Seeing an Allergist
A pediatric allergist can help determine if your baby really is allergic to carrots or other foods, and can give you recommendations for safe eating as well as directions for how to handle future reactions. Some babies have a reaction to a food because their digestive system is too young for that food, while others have an actual allergic reaction. An allergist will be able to run tests to determine which condition is causing your baby’s symptoms. Talk to your pediatrician or family doctor for a referral to an allergist.