On the night of 28 December 2017, we rushed my 10-month old daughter to the ER after frequent bouts of vomiting. It was a harrowing experience in the car while we were on our way to the nearest hospital. My baby nearly lost her consciousness while I almost lost my nerve. I knew we had to keep her awake until we arrive.
Earlier that day, a few hours after lunch, Prym was very irritable. She didn’t want anyone else holding her other than me. My mother, who visited us in the afternoon, told me something was wrong with my daughter. I brushed it off, telling her she’s just in a phase called separation anxiety.
I should have known better.
In retrospect, I felt so guilty prioritizing my remote job over my baby. I should have taken a closer look at what was really happening or checked what she ate for lunch that day. The problem was compounded by the fact that her nanny for 10 months went home for good before Christmas.
The Day Of…
My baby loved her eggs. Twice a week, I saw to it that she got a bit of her protein needs from an egg yolk. Egg whites are notorious in triggering allergies to kids and should be avoided until your baby turns 12 months. I introduced the egg yolk to my daughter’s diet since she was 8 months old and she had not suffered any allergy or sensitivity to it.
Since the nanny was no longer with us, we each took roles in taking care of the baby in the household. Unfortunately, I failed to let each family member know some things to be avoided when it comes to taking care of my baby while I’m at work. And that include egg whites. On that day, Prym had a whole hard boiled egg mashed together with rice porridge for lunch.
You can call me a bad mother. I deserve that. However, I deeply regret this specific shortcoming.
It’s unusual for her age to vomit frequently. I was puzzled, not realizing anything yet. My baby grew weaker, paler, and more dehydrated as she vomited everything she ingested. I was frantic when she again vomited in the evening that we knew we had to hook her to an IV to prevent dehydration. Not knowing what else to do, we immediately decided to pack up and go to the emergency room of the nearest private hospital in the area.
On the last day of our hospital stay, my baby’s pediatrician released the diagnosis: non-ulcerative dyspepsia, otherwise known as indigestion. We also got an instruction to never overfeed the baby, as we confessed we sometimes try to have my baby finish everything on the plate because we were worried about her small frame.
Non-ulcer Dyspepsia in Children
According to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), dyspepsia or indigestion can occur at an early age. This usually happens due to incorrect or irregular feeding, overfeeding, or the introduction of various foods that are not appropriate to the child’s age.
Non-ulcer dyspepsia is a common disorder wherein patients suffer from indigestion and other symptoms suggestive of an ulcer, but no abnormality is found on investigation.
Egg Allergies in Infants & Children
Eggs are great first food for babies. They are usually introduced (non-allergenic) to babies around 8 months old. However, it is the white of the egg that is allergenic and not the yolk.
Egg yolks do not contain the proteins that cause an allergy. In fact, it’s uncommon for anyone to be allergic to the egg yolk. The egg whites. on the other hand, contains 4 proteins that can trigger mild to severe allergies. Hence, most pediatricians recommend that egg whites/ whole eggs should not be fed to a baby before 1 year of age.
My baby’s case was more like an intolerance to egg rather than an allergy.
Note that egg allergy is different from egg intolerance. Allergic reactions are often immediate, while in food sensitivity or intolerance, the reaction is gradual and milder. A medical practitioner can point out the exact condition.
If you think your child is allergic to egg proteins, here are some signs and symptoms to watch out:
- Red bumps or rashes.
- Mouth swelling.
- Eye redness that comes with itching, swelling, or excessive tearing.
- Nose congestion accompanied by clear discharge or nose itching.
- Swelling in the throat.
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Shortness of breath.
- Weak heart pulse.
- Anxiety and agitation.
- Increased body temperature.
If your child experiences any of these symptoms, call the pediatrician right away!
Since recommendations for introducing eggs to baby are changing, it’s best to consult with your baby’s pediatrician to determine whether or not it’s safe to include egg in your baby’s diet.
Even if your baby does have an allergy to eggs now, it doesn’t mean he will always have it. Most children outgrow their egg allergies by the time they reach 5!
Do you have a similar experience in your infant? Share your experience in the comments sections below.