Food Allergy in Children: An Overview

Indian J Pediatr. 2018 May;85(5):369-374. doi: 10.1007/s12098-017-2535-6. Epub 2017 Nov 17.


The estimated prevalence of food allergy amongst children in the west is around 6-8% but there is paucity of data in the Indian population. There is a complex interplay of environmental influences and genetic factors in the immuno-pathogenesis and manifestations of food allergy. A reliable thorough clinical history, combined with positive skin prick tests or food-specific IgE, is essential for a more precise diagnosis of food allergy. Currently there is no cure for food allergy. The management of food allergy usually includes strict avoidance, patient education and provision of emergency medication (adrenaline-autoinjectors). Emerging therapies based on evolving research are focused on a more active approach to management which includes early introduction of potentially allergenic foods, anticipatory testing and desensitisation to food allergens. Lack of food labelling policy and non availability of adrenaline auto-injectors is a huge limiting factor for effective management of food allergy among children in India. The present review focuses on IgE mediated food allergy.

Keywords: Adrenaline auto-injectors; Anaphylaxis; Children; Diet; Food allergy; Food labelling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens*
  • Child
  • Epinephrine / administration & dosage
  • Food Hypersensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity* / drug therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Skin Tests


  • Allergens
  • Epinephrine