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Peanuts and tree nuts are among the most common allergy-causing foods. And the symptoms of a tree nut or peanut allergy can be severe. Watch out for the six major symptoms of nut allergies, especially in young children.

If your child is allergic, the immune system overreacts to proteins in the nuts and can cause intense reactions as the body attempts to fight off the allergen.

While peanuts are actually a legume, the protein structure is similar to that of tree nuts. So those allergic to peanuts may also be allergic to tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pistachios, Brazil nuts and pecans. While many childhood allergies can be outgrown, most nut allergies are lifelong.

Diagnosing your child’s nut allergy early can be critical, as some symptoms of this allergy are immediately life threatening. Avoiding nuts can be particularly difficult with peanuts. However, advances in allergy labeling make life a bit easier for parents of nut allergic children.

Symptoms of Tree Nut or Peanut Allergy

1. Breathing Issues: When consuming or sometimes even just breathing in the dust of peanuts or tree nuts, your child may experience breathing trouble. Wheezing, coughing and hoarseness with consumption of nuts is common with the allergy.

2. Throat Constriction: With severe allergy, anaphalaxis can set in and the throat can constrict, cutting off the airway. If not treated immediately, anaphylaxis can be the most immediately life threatening symptom of nut allergy.

3. Stomach and Digestive Issues: Among the milder symptoms of nut allergy are stomachache, diarrhea and vomiting. While these are uncomfortable symptoms for your child, the symptoms aren’t immediately life threatening.

4. Eyes and Skin: Hives and swollen, itchy or watery eyes can also occur.

5. Swelling: Swelling of the face is also possible and blood pressure may drop, leading to dizziness.

6. Behavior: ADD/ADHD, irritability, tantrums, depression, mental dullness, memory lapses, apathy, hyperactivity, restlessness and learning problems are all possible behavioral symptoms of food sensitivities and allergies.

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