Living with an egg allergy

Which came first, the chicken, or egg allergies? Either way, keeping eggs out of your little one’s diet is totally manageable, especially when you’ve done your homework about exactly how to do it.

What is an egg allergy?

An egg allergy is a condition where a child’s body reacts to harmless proteins in eggs as if they are a threat, which triggers an immune system response. This immune system response can, itself, be dangerous and uncomfortable.

Where else are eggs found?

Aside from the obvious – eggs benedict, eggs florentine, and, of course, scrambled, eggs can turn up in the ingredients of some unexpected foods. Any food with these ingredients contains eggs and should also be avoided:

  • Albumin
  • Eggnog
  • Lysozyme
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meringue or meringue powder
  • Ovalbumin
  • Surimi

Severe egg allergies can also interfere with yearly flu vaccines, so it’s important to talk through your child’s egg allergy with a healthcare provider before he gets an influenza vaccine.

How is an egg allergy treated?

For all allergies, the first and most important treatment of avoidance. When a reaction happens, for severe allergies, healthcare providers prescribe epinephrine, or adrenaline, which is dispensed from an auto-injector, or EpiPen. EpiPens should be stored at room-temperature, and should avoid extremes of heat and cold. Many families find it helpful to have several EpiPens – say, one for home, one for daycare, and one to carry around throughout the day.

If your child’s allergy is less severe, his allergist may hold off on prescribing an EpiPen until he reaches the weight guidelines for an EpiPen Jr. – 33 pounds – but if it seems possible that he has a more severe allergy to eggs, the allergist may prescribe an EpiPen Jr. anyway.

Whether your child’s doctor prescribes an EpiPen, or just recommends antihistamines in case of an allergy attack, it’s important to have whatever supplies are recommended on-hand at all times, and to make sure that all of your child’s caregivers know his allergy response plan.


Sources
  • “Egg Allergy.” Food Allergy Research & Education. Food Allergy Research & Education. Retrieved November 21 2017. https://www.foodallergy.org/common-allergens/egg.
  • “Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September 2 2016. Retrieved November 21 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/egg-allergies.htm.

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