A milk allergy is a serious health condition. If triggered, it can lead to severe illness and, in some cases, a life-threatening reaction. A 1-year-old who is allergic to whole milk should avoid all milk products, including yogurt and cheese. You need to be prepared for an allergic reaction with an injectable epinephrine -- prescribed by your child's doctor -- in case of accidental consumption according to KidsHealth. Talk to your doctor if your child has an allergic reaction.
Avoiding Milk Products
Those with milk allergies should not consume any milk products or food with milk proteins. Parents need to read food labels before feeding their baby; even nondairy foods can contain milk products in the ingredients or processing. According to KidsHealth, parents should "look for advisory statements such as 'May contain milk,' 'Processed in a facility that also processes milk,' or 'Manufactured on equipment also used for milk,'" on food labels. They should also educate the baby's caregivers on how to keep the baby safe from a milk allergy reaction. If the mother is breastfeeding, she should maintain a dairy-free diet to avoid affecting the baby.
Eating Out with a Milk Allergy
Even if parents are vigilant about checking food labels at home, going out to eat may pose a risk for a 1-year-old with a milk allergy. If the baby tries any food from his parents' plates, she could be in danger of eating food that is contaminated with milk proteins. Cross-contamination is more common in restaurants than in home kitchens because the same utensils, kitchenware, and preparation surfaces are used for all different types of food, according to KidsHealth. Families should avoid offering the baby food at a buffet-style restaurant since the risk of cross-contamination is higher in this type of eatery. Parents should avoid allowing their baby to eat fried food, as many different types of food are often fried in the same container.
Several milk alternatives are available for babies who have an allergy to the proteins. Parents should not give the baby milk from other animals, such as goats, because the proteins are too similar to a cow's, according to KidsHealth. Instead, the baby can consume rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk or hemp milk. An allergist can help you to decide which milk alternative is best for your child.
Treatments for Milk Allergy
A pediatrician may use medications to treat your baby's milk allergy. Antihistamines and anti-asthma medication are the common treatments for this condition, but the best course of action is to avoid milk and milk products, according to HealthyChildren.org. Most children outgrow this allergy by 2 to 5 years of age.
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images