While it is very rare for lactose intolerance to develop in toddlers, there are some cases. Hence, you should understand the causes, symptoms and treatment options for these toddlers. Lactose intolerance tends to develop, when the toddler’s intestine does not produce the lactase, which is an enzyme, which breaks down the sugar in the milk called lactose. Hence, toddlers who have lactose intolerance will find themselves reacting negatively to dairy products, in terms of their digestive functions.
Make sure your child gets proper care, if you think that he/she has developed lactose intolerance.
There are many researchers, who have found that lactose intolerance in toddlers does not show up until children reach late adolescence. However, the problem develops around the age of two. Lactose intolerance may be confused with milk allergy. If your toddler is experiencing breathing problems and hives, then your toddler may suffer from milk allergy. However, this occurs for the majority of the children. If your child shows symptoms, such as diarrhea, or gas, it may mean that your child has lactose deficiency. Diarrhea may develop within 30 minutes to 2 hours after the consumption of a dairy product. Your toddler’s stool will get discolored, water or loose. Toddlers, who are potty-trained will be going to the washroom quite a few times. They may even soil their underwear, something that they would normally not do. If the diarrhea occurs for more than 2 days, it is always safe to consult a doctor. A lactose intolerant toddler wills also signs of stomach irritation, caused by milk products, which may include abdominal cramps, gas and nausea. The toddler may complain that his/her tummy hurts, after consumption of milk, cheese or yogurt. Your child may be crying more often, and will be irritable and fussy, because of sporadic abdominal pain. If your child develops vomiting, make sure you contact the doctor immediately.
However, the severity of the symptoms will depend upon the toddler. Some toddlers will be able to consume small quantities of lactose-products, without showing any symptoms, while some may experience these symptoms, when consuming even a small quantity.
Why is my child suffering?
You may probably ask yourself this question, and some parents may even blame themselves! However, that is not the case. It is a rare condition, but is common among Asian, Native African, Hispanic and African people. Additionally, some toddlers may experience temporary lactose intolerance, and it will eventually go away, if treated properly.
What do I do to help my child?
Do not think that your child’s life is completely ruined. Your toddler will be able to have a good and normal life, as long as his diet is properly monitored and controlled. There is no one way of dealing with this problem. Many of the children will show themselves the amount of lactose they can tolerate in their diets, through trial and error. Do not cut down your child’s lactose consumption completely, since dairy products are helpful for your toddler’s development and growth. You can keep a food diary, whenever you figure out the amount of lactose your child can tolerate per day, and the dairy products your child cannot tolerate.