Milk Allergy in Toddlers – A Cause for Concern


Milk allergy in toddlers is one of the common ailments that affect children all over the world in some form or the other. Milk allergy in toddlers gets detected in the initial phase of life, particularly when the gastrointestinal tract is not fully developed. Cow’s milk has the maximum chances of attracting an allergic reaction while breast milk has the least.

Generally, the child starts showing symptoms after 30 minutes of the consumption of a milk product. Common symptoms include rashes, upset stomach, diarrhea, and sometimes, blood in the stool. Also, milk allergy in toddlers may trigger the onset of a respiratory ailment such as cold, cough, breathing difficulty, and the like. If you happen to see any of these symptoms in your child, it is time you visit a doctor. It should be kept in mind that with time, certain symptoms may vanish while new ones may occur.

A pediatrician can be consulted for effective treatment who will provide your kid with the right treatment. The doctor should be informed if a family history of such form of allergy already exists to take into consideration any genetic causes. A few precautions can also be taken to prevent the very onset of the allergy in the first place.

  • Breastfeeding – If the infant is only a few months old and has developed an allergy from breastfed milk, it is advisable to follow a lactose-free diet. To fulfill the milk requirements, calcium supplements can be taken by the mother. Cow’s milk should be given only under the recommendation of a doctor and that too as late as possible (minimum four months from the child’s birth).
  • Alternative feeding options – If the infant is old enough to consume cow’s milk which is the reason for the outbreak of the allergy, milk substitutes such as soy or elemental formula can be given. The doctor will guide you in buying the correct product according to the type of allergy as well as physiological characteristics of the infant.
  • Growing children – Treatments for milk allergy in toddlers will depend on their age, and once the baby has grown up to be a year old, the pediatrician will suggest eliminating all lactose based products. The doctor will monitor it for a specific period to find the impact as well as examine the problem more closely. A controlled experiment may also be conducted wherein the child is provided some amount of milk under a set of circumstances. Extra caution has to be taken while performing this trial experiment since the infant’s body can react massively even to limited exposure to milk or any of the related products. If you are feeling worried about the fulfillment of nutritional requirements of your child, then you can include healthy options in the diet such as nuts, beans, spinach that are known to be rich sources of calcium.
  • Milk products – Further as the toddler grows, products such cheese, ice cream, etc. will be gradually reduced in the diet. Alternatives can be considered, although many individuals are allergic to many of them as well. Never try to take the place of a doctor or underestimate his recommendations since even a small mistake can lead to a lifelong ailment.
  • Medicines – There are a few over the counter medicines that may be prescribed by the doctor in worst cases. These include antihistamines that should be taken only if nothing else works effectively. Milk allergy in toddlers is usually short-lived and goes away on its own after some years in mild cases.
  • Awareness – First of all, it is essential to obtain full knowledge of the milk allergy in toddlers before starting treatment or taking any precautions for that matter. Secondly, the toddler should be made to understand the ill effects of milk products on his health. Lastly, it is essential to make people in the immediate surroundings of the toddler aware about the condition and the fact that the baby is not to be administered any amount of milk.

Milk allergy in toddlers is an umbrella term which may include lactose intolerance, and this has two implications. Firstly, that the infant is allergic to the calcium drink alone; secondly, that his body reacts to every single product that may contain or be composed of milk such as dry milk solids and whey. Lactose intolerance means that the toddler is unable to digest milk sugar due to a deficiency of the required enzymes. Milk intolerance, on the other hand, means that the toddler’s body is sending an allergic reaction to some proteins present in milk. A hydrogen breath test may have to be conducted to determine the type of allergy that the toddler is suffering from. Also, sometimes milk allergy in toddlers may exist as a temporary symptom to some other ailment or weakness and is not an actual problem itself.