Food Allergies in Infant Daycare: What Parents Need to Know

Food Allergies in Infant Daycare: What Parents Need to Know

Food Allergies in Infant Daycare: What Parents Need to Know

Food allergies are becoming increasingly common, especially among infants and young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 13 children in the United States has a food allergy. This means that there is a good chance that your child’s daycar infant daycare San Diego will have at least one child with a food allergy.

As a parent, it is important to be aware of the risks of food allergies in infant daycare and to take steps to protect your child. Here is what you need to know:

What are food allergies?

A food allergy is an abnormal immune system response to a specific food. When a person with a food allergy eats the food they are allergic to, their immune system produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies bind to the allergen and trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals. These chemicals can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

What are the most common food allergies in infants?

The most common food allergies in infants are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

It is important to note that any food can cause an allergic reaction, but these are the most common.

What are the symptoms of a food allergy reaction in infants?

Symptoms of a food allergy reaction in infants can vary depending on the severity of the reaction. Some common symptoms include:

  • Skin rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis (a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction)

If you notice any of these symptoms in your infant after they have eaten, it is important to contact your doctor immediately.

How to protect your child with a food allergy in infant daycare

There are a number of things you can do to protect your child with a food allergy in infant daycare:

  • Talk to the daycare staff. Let them know about your child’s food allergy and provide them with a list of all the foods that your child is allergic to. Make sure that the daycare staff understands the severity of your child’s allergy and know how to respond to a reaction.
  • Provide the daycare with your child’s food. This way, you can be sure that your child is not exposed to any allergens. If your child drinks breastmilk or formula, you will need to provide the daycare with enough for the day.
  • Develop a food allergy action plan. This plan should outline what the daycare staff should do if your child has an allergic reaction. The plan should include contact information for you and your child’s doctor, as well as instructions on how to administer epinephrine (if prescribed).
  • Educate your child about their food allergy. As your child gets older, it is important to teach them about their food allergy and how to avoid the foods that they are allergic to. You can also teach them how to identify the symptoms of an allergic reaction and what to do if they have a reaction.

Tips for daycare staff

If you are a daycare staff member, there are a number of things you can do to keep children with food allergies safe:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing food. This will help to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Keep food allergens separate from other foods. This will help to prevent children from accidentally coming into contact with allergens.
  • Be aware of the food allergies of all the children in your care. This way, you can take steps to avoid exposing children to allergens.
  • Have an epinephrine auto-injector (e.g., EpiPen) on hand in case a child has a severe allergic reaction. Know how to administer the epinephrine auto-injector and be prepared to call 911 immediately.


Food allergies can be a challenge for parents and daycare staff alike, but by working together, you can create a safe and supportive environment for children with food allergies. By following the tips above, you can help to prevent allergic reactions and keep children safe.

Additional tips for parents

  • Advise the daycare staff to read food labels carefully. Some foods may contain hidden allergens, so it is important to read the label carefully each time you give your child a new food.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about getting an epinephrine auto-injector. This is a device that can be used to administer epinephrine in the event of a severe allergic reaction.
  • Be prepared to talk to other parents about your child’s food allergy. If your child is attending a playdate or birthday party, it is important to let the other parents know

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