When my daughter was younger and I first started noticing things like hand flapping, regression in speech, toe walking and meltdowns over odd things, I soon figured out these were all red flags for autism.
There are some other flags that I didn’t realize were flags at all and just thought they were other things going on and were normal. Once I started talking to other moms who had kids with similar issues I realized these were not normal and were all part of the same systematic inflammation. One of these flags was red cheeks.
One of the most common reasons for red cheeks especially for children on the spectrum is food allergies or intolerances. Skin can be a reflection of what is going on inside. It is possible for a child to be experiencing red cheeks for this reason and not be on the autism spectrum, but if you are noticing them with other flags then it could be that your child is experiencing some of the medical issues that mine did and may need further investigating. Children can also get red cheeks from being outside too long and not drinking enough fluid or from viruses such as parvovirus B19 which causes fifth disease.
Some of the ways to figure out if your child is experiencing a food allergy or intolerance is:
- Keep a food journal – Write down everything that the child eats and if a reaction occurs at any time, note it. Also make note of child’s favorite foods. Frequently one craves the foods to which one isallergic.
- Do an elimination diet – Remove common allergy foods such as gluten, dairy and soy. Look into diets such as Paleo, SCD or GAPS. Some other foods that are known for causing red cheeks are those that have phenols or salicylates in them. Look into the Feingold diet to learn more about phenol/salicylate intolerances.
- Look into enzymes – Houston enzymes makes one that is called No-Fenol that can help in breaking down the phenols and help better digest them.
- Remove environmental toxins – There are many toxins that are commonly used in the household that the child could be reacting to. Cleaning, healthcare and beauty products can all have harmful chemicals and toxins in them. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides can also contribute to a toxin overload and damage the gut.
- Detox – One simple remedy is to take Epsom salt baths. This will aid in eliminating harmful toxins from the body. This can be especially helpful for those that are reacting to phenols due to sulfation issues. Drinking plenty of fluids especially water will also help aid in eliminating toxins.
- See a practitioner – See an integrative physician, functional medicine, or MAPS doctor that can help you do a comprehensive food allergy test along with other tests to see if there is anything else going on like methylation problems. They can also help you with come up with a plan for the best probiotics and supplements to help in healing the gut for your child.
If your child is getting red cheeks consistently and hasn’t been outside in the heat, is staying hydrated, and doesn’t have a virus, then there could be another reason.
Spark is Mama to four beautiful children, one who was diagnosed with autism and one with Tourette’s. She is grateful to all those moms who have shown her the way and provided her with hope and encouragement on this journey. She believes it is time to pay it forward and provide others with the same. She is thankful for her husband who works tirelessly so that they can afford the recovery of their girls. She is addicted to Pinterest, paper crafts and stamping.