National Egg Day & Egg Allergies

National Egg Day is observed annually on June 3rd. Eggs are one of the 8 major food allergens identified by the U.S. Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA).

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Eggs are one of the most common allergy-causing foods for children. And egg allergy can occur as early as infancy. Most children, but not all, outgrow their egg allergy before adolescence.

Egg allergy symptoms usually occur a few minutes to a few hours after eating eggs or foods containing eggs. Signs and symptoms range from mild to severe and can include skin rashes, hives, nasal congestion, and vomiting or other digestive problems. Rarely, egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis — a life-threatening reaction.

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Egg Allergy

Egg allergy affects about 2% of children, but most will outgrow their allergy in or before their teenage years. Reactions to egg can be mild to life-threatening, so it should be strictly avoided by those with egg allergy.

In general, egg allergic individuals must avoid eggs and any product made with egg. Although some egg allergic children can tolerate baked egg (for instance, if cooked in a cake), this should only be approved under the supervision of a physician. Unless otherwise designated, all sources of egg must be avoided to prevent an allergic reaction.

Common foods that may contain egg or egg products (not an exhaustive list):

✓ Egg
✓ Liquid egg substitute
✓ Pasta
✓ Bread
✓ Eggnog
✓ Nougat
✓ Mayonnaise
✓ Meringue, meringue powder
✓ Baked goods such as muffins, cake, and cookies
✓ Processed food

Egg Allergy Symptoms

Egg allergy reactions vary from person to person and usually occur soon after exposure to egg. Egg allergy symptoms can include:

  • Skin inflammation or hives — the most common egg allergy reaction
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing (allergic rhinitis)
  • Digestive symptoms, such as cramps, nausea and vomiting
  • Asthma signs and symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or shortness of breath
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A severe allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening emergency that requires an immediate epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room. Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms include:

  • Constriction of airways, including a swollen throat or a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Rapid pulse
  • Shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure felt as dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Discuss with your doctor any reaction — no matter how mild — you or your child has to eggs. The severity of egg allergy reactions can vary each time one occurs, so even if a past reaction was mild, the next one could be more serious.

If your doctor thinks you or your child may be at risk of a severe reaction, he or she may prescribe an emergency epinephrine shot to be used if anaphylaxis occurs. The shot comes in a device that makes it easy to deliver, called an autoinjector.