Child abuse happens more often than many of us can imagine, and now the world community is growing increasingly concerned with this issue. Human rights activists, social workers, and the media constantly urge people to be vigilant and report suspicious cases before it is too late. But sometimes even experienced specialists are mistaken.
This story happened in 2018 to Marc Sutherland and Nathalie Whyte who have raised their eldest daughter and aren’t exactly newbies at parenting. Once, they noticed that their youngest baby’s behavior had changed dramatically without any apparent reason. Medical workers said it was colic, which is common for children at his age.
Marc and Natalie, as well as the medical staff, didn’t know what to think when bruises, swelling, and redness appeared on the baby’s body. The first suspicions fell on Callan's 7-year-old sister, Lucy. The health care professional wondered if the girl could have been hurting her younger brother for some reason. Then, the father was investigated for child abuse.
After several days of torment, it turned out that the little boy was allergic to milk.
Some babies' bodies can have an atypical reaction to dairy products for two main reasons:
- Lactose intolerance (the sugar contained in dairy products) is explained by the inability of the enzyme system of the intestine to break it down.
- Allergies to milk components are a rarer and more dangerous disease. It shows when animals’ or other sorts of milk are introduced into a diet. In this case, the body's immune system can reject the protein contained not only in the products of animal origin but also in mother's milk.
Symptoms of congenital or acquired lactose intolerance include:
- abdominal pain;
- bloating and flatulence;
- diarrhea (sometimes vomiting or constipation);
- lack of weight gain;
Allergies to milk components, in addition to the symptoms described above, can also manifest itself in swelling of the tongue, face skin, lips, and eyes; urticaria (hives); noisy breathing; a rash; and sometimes a cough. In severe cases, a life-threatening respiratory blockage may occur.
The reaction to lactose or milk components usually occurs soon after a meal, but in some cases, the interval can reach several hours. In most cases, it goes away with age and with a proper diet. However, it’s unadvised to give dairy products to a child suffering from this condition without consulting a supervising doctor.
Callan’s symptoms indicated allergies to milk. Fortunately, neither the parents nor the sister abused the baby. But this story proves that we all must remain vigilant when it comes to children’s health and well-being.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.