According to the FDA, 6% of children under three suffer from food allergies. Now that your infant is starting to eat solids, you may wonder if your baby will be among them. A food allergy occurs when your baby consumes a food that her body believes is an intruder, and responds by launching an immune system attack. During this initial "battle", your baby will make an antibody called IgE, which is designed to detect the food if it's eaten again. Should that happen, IgE tells your child to fight the "invading" food with chemicals like histamine. The result is an allergic reaction, which may manifest topically as hives, swelling, or eczema - or gastrointestinally, as bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, or even bloody stools. If your baby consistently develops one or more of these symptoms within several hours of eating a food, call her pediatrician and request an allergy test. In very rare cases, an allergic reaction may be so severe that it results in a swollen face, lips and eventually, airways. This potentially deadly reaction happens right after exposure to a food, and calling 911 immediately is essential. While any food can set off any of these reactions, fully 90% of allergies are to one of eight food groups, which include wheat, soy, eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, tree nuts (like cashews and walnuts), and shellfish, like lobster and shrimp. For less severe allergies to these foods, the only treatment necessary is strict avoidance of the offending fare. In the rare instance that your child has a life-threatening allergy, your pediatrician may recommend that you carry an epinephrine auto-injector at all times. More commonly known as an epi-pen, this self-administered injection counteracts the effects of histamine, ending a reaction. Unfortunately, if you or your partner suffer from severe or minor allergies, your infant is 50% more likely to do so. And while conventional wisdom dictates that allergies may be avoided by delaying exposure to certain foods, the AAP has shown that there is no scientific support for this theory. So while there is no way to stop allergies from developing, you may be able to pinpoint them by introducing one food to your child at a time. In this way, you'll be more likely to notice an adverse reaction to a particular food. Additionally, some pediatricians believe it's possible to lessen or delay allergy development by breastfeeding your infant until he or she is at least 12 months. Some doctors hypothesize that this protection is due to the natural antibodies and immunities passed through breast milk. If, despite everything, your child does develop a food allergy, take heart. Studies show that some 80% of children outgrow them by age ten!