Caring for an Infant With Cows’ Milk Allergy

Signs to Watch For
Cows’ milk allergy is the most common food allergy in children under 3 and affects around 7% of babies and young children in the U.K. Babies and children are at higher risk of getting cows’ milk allergy if allergy runs in the family. Many children who react to cows’ milk protein will also react to the proteins in sheep’s and goats’ milk too. Symptoms may include:

Swelling of the lips, face, and around the eyes
Itchy rash or lumps on the body (urticaria)

Spotting Delayed Reactions
It’s also possible for your baby to have a delayed allergic reaction to milk or milk products. In these cases, symptoms emerge more slowly and may include:

Posseting (vomiting milk)
Food refusal

Recognising Serious Reactions
Rarely, cows’ milk allergy can trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Symptoms develop soon after consumption of milk or milk protein-containing products. Seek help straight away if your child has any of these signs:

Hives or skin swelling
Wheezing or difficulty breathing
Swelling of lips, mouth, throat, or tongue
Floppy body and limbs
Anaphylaxis can develop quickly and be life-threatening, so call 999 immediately.