Egg allergy factsheet


Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children. Egg allergy is usually found between 6 and 15 months of age when your child starts to eat solids and has eggs introduced to their diet. 

By four years of age, some children will develop a tolerance to eggs, and their allergy symptoms may settle. Like any other allergy, it is important to talk to your child’s doctor before reintroducing foods that have previously caused an allergic reaction.  

Some children are more at risk of having an egg allergy. Risk factors include:

  • a family history of allergies and asthma
  • having eczema
  • having other allergies.

 Signs and symptoms

Allergic reactions can be fast and happen within minutes of exposure to eggs.

Reactions can include:

  • hives or welts on the skin
  • redness of the skin
  • vomiting and stomach ache
  • tingling and swelling of the mouth, lips, face, and eyes.

Some children can have a more severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Signs of anaphylaxis include: 

  • wheezing, difficult, or noisy breathing 
  • swelling of the tongue
  • swelling or tightness in the throat
  • a persistent cough
  • difficulty talking or a hoarse voice
  • dizziness
  • becoming pale and floppy in young children
  • collapsing.

If your child has signs of anaphylaxis, you should:

  • follow your child’s ASCIA action plan for anaphylaxis if you have one
  • use an EpiPen® or Anapen®, if there is one available
  • call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

Some children can develop a delayed reaction to eggs that takes hours or days.  

Symptoms of a delayed reaction can include:

See your local doctor as soon as possible if your child is showing signs of an allergic reaction for the first time. 

Symptoms of mild allergic reactions should fade over time. See your local doctor as soon as possible if symptoms do not get better or you are concerned.


If you think your child has had an allergic reaction that is not anaphylaxis, write down the following and see your local doctor as soon as possible:

  • time the egg was eaten
  • time of reaction
  • type of reaction
  • amount of egg eaten
  • how it was prepared - for example, baked or cooked.

A specialist doctor can diagnose an egg allergy based on your child’s:

Some children will grow out of their egg allergy. 

A food challenge can be done to figure out whether your child has grown out of their allergy and whether eggs can be reintroduced to their diet safely. Food challenges are done under the supervision of a doctor in the hospital. 


Your child's doctor will find the best possible treatment for their allergy based on their individual health needs. 

In most cases, your child must carefully avoid egg in their diet. Children at risk of anaphylaxis need: 

  • an ASCIA action plan 
  • an adrenaline injector, also known as an EpiPen® or Anapen®.

Your child will also need to learn how to identify foods that contain egg as they get older and become more independent with their diet.


Types of egg allergy

Children can be allergic to egg whites, yolk, or both. Even if your child is allergic to just one part of the egg, avoiding both is easiest and safest.

Parts of an egg can changed by heat used in cooking and may become less likely to cause a reaction. 

Many children with egg allergy will be able to eat eggs when it is baked into foods like cakes and biscuits. Speak to your child’s doctor before trying baked foods containing eggs.

Your child’s doctor will be able to determine which type of egg allergy your child has and whether they can eat eggs prepared in a certain way.

Common sources of egg

Some foods will visibly contain eggs, such as frittata and fried rice. Egg is also used as a binder, which helps ingredients to stick together. Because egg is a common ingredient in foods, it can be difficult to avoid.

Some common foods that contain eggs include:

  • baked goods - for example, cake, muffins, and biscuits
  • desserts - for example, custard, meringue, ice cream, and pudding
  • battered and crumbed foods - for example, fish fingers and chicken schnitzel
  • noodles and pasta - except where specified, like rice noodles
  • dips and sauces - for example, mayonnaise and carbonara.

Always check the package and ingredients list of all foods.

Eggs, food labels and eating out

It is important to always check the package and ingredient list of all foods your child eats.

In Australia, allergens are shown in bold each time they appear in an ingredient list. Packaged foods may have a warning on the label that "may contain traces of egg".

This means the food is made in a facility that also makes foods that contain egg. 

Always tell the staff that your child has an egg allergy when eating out. This will help you find safe foods and avoid contamination. 

If you cannot confirm that food does not contain egg, it is safest for your child to avoid it.

Talk to your child’s doctor about what types of foods that contain egg are safe if you are unsure.

Vaccination and egg allergy

Babies and children with egg allergies can safely have the:

Speak to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about egg allergy and vaccinations.

Egg substitutes

An egg-free diet can be difficult, but making baked goods and other foods using egg substitutes is possible.

Egg substitutes are used to replicate things like texture and binding in cooking. They are not a nutritional substitute for eggs.

Some common egg substitutes for baking include:

  • 1 egg = 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 tablespoon liquid (like water, juice, or milk)
  • 1 egg = 1 teaspoon baking powder +1 tablespoon liquid (like water, juice, or milk) + 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 egg = 1 tablespoon jam or golden syrup
  • 1 egg = 1 ½ tablespoons water + 1 ½ tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg = ¼ cup mashed banana or apple puree

Your local supermarket may also sell egg substitutes labelled for plant-based or vegan diets. 

These products can include powdered egg replacers and liquid plant-based eggs for frying and scrambling. They will usually contain ingredients like potato or tapioca starch and vegetable gums.

Aquafaba is water from a can of chickpeas. It is a popular egg white substitute for making meringue and creamy sauces.


The most important thing you can do is support your child in avoiding eggs in their diet. You can also educate your child, family, and friends about allergies, reactions, and what to do in an emergency.

Parents of younger children will need to read ingredient lists and learn to find eggs in foods and drinks.

Older children can be supported in learning to read ingredient lists and find eggs in foods. 

This can help keep children safe and encourage them to be more independent and confident about their diet and health as they grow.

Resources and more information

The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Provides resources including fact sheets, e-training and information on locating allergy specialists.
Related Links
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia - Your trusted charity for allergy support

Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia

Phone1300 728 000
Provides valuable updates and tips for dealing with food allergies.
Related Links
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)

Part of the Australian Government's Health portfolio and provides detailed information on food labelling.
Related Links
Last updated Tuesday 12th March 2024


This factsheet is provided for general information only. It does not constitute health advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat any health condition.

Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for you and/or your child.

The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network does not accept responsibility for inaccuracies or omissions, the interpretation of the information, or for success or appropriateness of any treatment described in the factsheet.

© Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network 2024