The following information is meant as a guide only – it does not represent professional medical advice. Always consult your baby’s doctor or paediatrician if you suspect that your baby has an allergy to any food, and wait before introducing new foods.
About egg allergy:
- Eggs are one of the most common causes of food allergy
- Allergic reactions to egg can be severe
- Egg allergies are most common in infants under 12 months of age
- Reactions occur when baby’s body mistakenly treats the protein in egg as a harmful substance
- Most of those with an allergy to eggs react to the proteins in the egg white – ovalbumin and ovomucoid
- Some with an egg allergy react to protein in the yolk – this is much less common than reaction to egg- white proteins
- Egg whites are allergenic whether cooked or raw
- The allergenicity of egg yolk is reduced by cooking
- Egg allergy can only be diagnosed by your baby’s doctor or an allergist
- Many children have outgrown their allergy to eggs by the time they are 5 years old.
Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to eggs can occur within minutes, but it can also be a few hours before symptoms appear.
- Tummy pain
- Facial swelling
- Raised welts on the face or body (hives)
- Rash and/or itching – often around the mouth, but spreading over the body
- Flushed skin
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Runny nose
- Breathing difficulties
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Allergic Shock – a severe reaction that needs immediate medical help
Some thoughts about when and how to give eggs to your baby…
- Always speak with your baby’s doctor or paediatrician about introducing egg into baby’s diet.
- If your baby is diagnosed with an allergy to eggs – avoid them altogether.
- Because many children tend to be allergic to egg whites, doctors usually advise parents not to give them until a baby is 1 year old – 2 years if there is a family history of food allergy.
- Well-cooked egg yolk may be given from the age of about 6 months of age, as allergy to egg yolk is relatively rare – though, again, if there is a family history of allergy, you may also want to wait longer before giving your baby egg yolk.
- To separate the white from the yolk of an egg you can hard boil the egg first – then it’s easy to remove the yolk.
- Another way is to crack the raw egg in half, then tip the yolk back and forth between the shell halves, letting the white drop into a cup – though traces of egg white may remain, and even small amounts can cause a reaction if your baby is allergic.
- It is not safe to use whole eggs in baking if your baby needs to avoid egg whites.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.