If you think your child has an egg allergy speak to a GP. They’ll be able to refer you to an allergy specialist who can assess your child and recommend the best possible care. Egg allergy is common among children, but most children will grow out of it.
What are the symptoms of an egg allergy in children?
Most allergic reactions to egg are not severe. Your child will usually start to show symptoms soon after eating or drinking something that contains egg. These symptoms include:
- a rash or red bumps (hives) around the mouth
- swelling of their lips, eyes and face
- being sick (vomiting)
Very sensitive children might have a reaction on their skin if they touch egg or eggshell.
Some children will have a very serious (anaphylactic) allergic reaction to milk. This is a medical emergency. Call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance if your child:
- is struggling to breathe or breathing noisily (wheezing)
- is coughing
- becomes pale and floppy
- feels dizzy
- has a swollen tongue
It’s very important to see a GP as soon as possible if you think your child might have an egg allergy. They will probably refer you and your child to an allergy clinic for further tests.
What causes an egg allergy?
Egg allergies are usually caused by a protein found in eggs. Many children with an egg allergy can eat well-cooked eggs. But some children are allergic to all forms of egg, whether they are cooked or not. This reaction can be severe, so it’s important that they avoid all products that contain egg.
Can a child with egg allergy be given vaccines?
Some vaccines contain traces of egg and shouldn’t be given to children who have an egg allergy. This includes the yellow fever vaccine and the standard flu vaccine. But there are types of flu vaccine that can be given to your child if they have an egg allergy. A GP or nurse will be able to give you more information about these vaccines.
The MMR vaccine is considered safe for children with an egg allergy. The three main COVID-19 vaccines used in the UK (Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna) are also safe.
Can a child outgrow an egg allergy?
Yes, most children outgrow their egg allergy. A GP can refer you to a specialist who can check if your child still has an egg allergy. It’s very important that you don’t try and test this yourself at home.
What foods should you avoid giving a child with an egg allergy?
It’s important that you understand how strict your child’s diet needs to be. Your doctor and allergy specialist can help you to understand the type of egg your child needs to avoid. If your child has an egg allergy, they might be allergic to:
- raw egg, for example in homemade mayonnaise or cake batter
- slightly cooked eggs, for example soft boiled eggs or scrambled eggs
- cooked eggs, for example in some cakes and biscuits
You should check the food labels of the foods you buy to make sure that they don’t contain egg. By law in the UK, all packaged foods that contain egg have to clearly list it in the ingredients, no matter how small the amount.
You should also avoid giving your child the eggs of other birds, such as duck, goose or quail eggs.
Once you understand their allergy you can keep them safe and make sure they get all the nutrients they need.
How can I help my child with an egg allergy?
As well as looking at labels, there are lots of other things you can do to make sure that your child stays safe.
- Tell restaurant staff that your child has an egg allergy when you’re eating out or ordering takeaway food.
- Check your supermarket’s website. They usually have a list of products that they stock that don’t include egg.
- Look at the ‘Free from’ ranges in the supermarket aisles to find egg-free versions of products such as cakes and mayonnaise.
- Find egg-free recipes by searching online or using egg-free cookbooks.
You might also want to speak to a dietitian for advice. They’ll be able to discuss your child’s diet and make sure they’re getting the right nutrients while they’re growing.
Coping with your child's egg allergy
It can be worrying to finding out that your child has an allergy. But it’s important to remember that your child’s medical team are there to support you and your child. Don’t hesitate to ask them for help if you need it.