20 answers

Allergic to Splenda?

Today my 18 month old son suddenly developed a red splotchy rash around his mouth and nose. It came on all of a sudden and then he started to rub underneath his nose like it was itching. It went away after about a half hour, but I would still like to know what caused it. The only thing new that he has eaten or touched is sugar-free syrup. He loves to eat waffles and I thought I was making a good decision by changing his syrup to sugar-free even though I don't give him a lot of it. The bottle says that it contains Splenda. Has anyone ever heard of Splenda causing an allergic reaction?

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My boyfried is allergic to Splenda and has been since he was little. He gets a migraine after intake of any kind of sugar-free food/drink/gum etc.

I breastfed my son and if I used splenda products he would break out in a rash. He is now 3. I have not noticed any breakouts. So I assume he outgrew the allergy.

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I breastfed my son and if I used splenda products he would break out in a rash. He is now 3. I have not noticed any breakouts. So I assume he outgrew the allergy.

A lot of people have had reactions to Splenda (the generic being sucralose, so keep an eye out for that, too). While it's a sugar derivative, it is not a natural sweetner. Part of the sugar molecules have been replaced with chlorine, which is why the body doesn't recognize it as food and thus it has no calories. Up to 15% of the chlorine can be absorbed by the body, so it's not a good alternative to sugar. It's in everything, though, so you have to keep a close eye out. Most "light" foods have it, even if they aren't sugar-free.

Sorry your little one had an itchy rash, but I'm glad you caught it early!

My boyfried is allergic to Splenda and has been since he was little. He gets a migraine after intake of any kind of sugar-free food/drink/gum etc.

My 43 yr old boss has allergic reaction to Splenda, body cramps. My husband and I get headaches from saccerine and aspertine. Moderation of anything you put in your body is healthy living. I'm not an organic junkie, but I do believe some things man-made can't be an improvement on what God created. From what you described it went through your son's system pretty fast and atleast you've a keen eye to pin point something new might be the culprit.

My daughter had a similar reaction to syrup when she was younger. She also had eczema. It could be the artificial sweetener but it could also be a dye (red maybe?) in your syrup. I've had several friends tell me their children had reactions to red dyes when they were young. Compare your sugar free to your regular syrup and see what else is different in the ingredients. My doctor did not seem concerned when I told her. Hope this helps. M.

This also happened to my daughter (23 mth) a couple of months ago when i tried to switch her to "low-fat" mayonnaise - she loves "ma-maise" to dip her chicken nuggets and brocolli (i know, weird) in at lunch sometimes, and i thought that i should lower the fat content a bit for her own good - but after eating the low-fat version she got the red splotchy rash around her mouth that went away after an hour or so... so we don't use that anymore...

Give him the plain old fashion syrup...He seems to be
allergic to the Splenda...I am so, I know it can cause a
rash to appear...Regular syrup is not going to hurt the
baby unless you let him use the whole bottle at one time..

Splenda is de-caloried by Chlorine. Suposedly all of the chlorine is removed, but there are many many reports of people with chlorine issues having bad reactions to splenda. While sugar has its issues, at least it is natural.

There are many allergic to the sugar substitutes and it is not recomended for any children as far as I know. That could well be his allergy problem. If the problem continues after using no sugar substitutes check with the doctor.

As long as he is a normal growing boy it is best to not use any of the substitutes. Just limit amounts

Hi A.,

Yes, my son and I experienced a similar reaction (plus stomach pain and diarrhea) several years ago, after eating cookies made with Splenda (sucralose). What I've learned since is that Splenda is to be avoided. It is a chlorinated sucrose derivative originally developed as a pesticide (yes! believe it or not). Here are a couple of links that I'd encourage you to check out for more information. Good health to you and your wee one!


Splenda is a sugar derivitive, so I don't know if that's what's doing it. If you are close to the Youngstown area, go see Dr. Jacques Politi. My mother worked for him when he was a pediatrician. Now he handles allergies and sinus issues only - all ages. Fabulous, and knowledgable! My husband drives from Akron weekly for allergy shots because he's so good.

A., I have reactions to Splenda myself, and I know that it is not uncommon. As an adult knowing how uncomfortable it can be I would recommend not giving it to him until you are sure. I also second the other responses that it is not considered to be a healthy food choice

I have heard of an allergic reaction to Splenda also.
If you google "artificial sweeteners" you will find a lot of reports of danger of these products.
If you want to lower the sugar intake for your kids, try xylitol.
for syrup, I would buy pure maple syrup, the real stuff.
If you can eliminate High Fructose corn Syrup, you are avoiding one of the worst ingredients in foods.

There is research that young child should not have splenda. My youngest grandson was not suppose to have any of it. It reacted with him like suger with most kids. Very hyper.

I don't give children under the age of 6 anything sugar free. I would just keep away from the splenda. I've heard that sugar free items can cause problems with brain development in young children. If you don't want to have a lot of sugary items in the house, try to find a sample size of the syrup for the baby.

Sugar substitutes are actually really unhealthy--for kids and adults. They've been linked to all kinds of health issues. Google it and tons of articles will come up! For syrup, why don't you try just real maple syrup? The other kinds of syrup are really dyed high fructose corn syrup, which is horrible for you...

I agree with the other moms, I prefer to give my kids natural sugar over any "sugar free" foods. What do they replace the sugar with? Chemicals. I'd rather eat sugar than chemicals. Its expensive, but I buy pure maple syrup. My kids eat waffles and pancakes almost every morning for breakfast and I won't give them "pancake syrup" All it is is corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup which is horrible for you. If you are concerned about sugar then try and limit the kind you eat to unbleached or unprocessed. Also try and eliminate artificial colors and preservatives any time you can. You are on the right track by tring to make healthy decisions, unfortunately its very confusing as to what is actually healthy and what is just marketing and hype. Have a great weekend!

I agree with the others sugar-free products should not be given to children as it is very harmful.


I agree with the other moms, avoid all artifical products and preservatives in your child's food (and even your own!). This also includes high fructose corn syrup which is used to sweeten just about everything now a days. There's nothing wrong with good old fashioned sugar (sucrose), but high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetners are not good. Natural sugars are the best including maple sugar and honey - but do not feed a baby younger than 1 year old honey due to the chance of getting botulism.

There is some scientific evidence that all of the artificial preservatives and additives in food may be causing neurological problems in young children including ADHD and autism. Children with ADHD who have been switched to an all-natural diet (no preservatives or processed, prepared food) start to act normal.

My best advice to everyone is avoid the pre-packaged, ready to eat snacks and foods, including processed lunch meats. They are NOT healthy for you or your children. Eat fresh fruits (plenty sweet on their own), vegetables, and make your own dinners (there are lots of things that take less than 30 minutes to prepare). For lunches, don't get those microwavable meals, but have left-overs from dinner (almost always tastes better!). When you shop, avoid the aisles and stay to the outside edges of the store (bakery, produce, meat, dairy). The biggest thing is avoid soda pop! This is just pure high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetner with chemicals (read the label).

We have been eating this way now for several years. It did take a little bit of an adjustment at first, but now I can't imagine eating any differently, and we feel great and are physically healthy!

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Hi A.,
I have no information on allergies and splenda; however, I can tell you that while refined sugar is very bad for your little guy (and all of us!!), Splenda is not a safe, nor healthy, alternative. I know that there's probably many who disagree with me on this, but if you really sat down and looked at the facts, well, artificial sweetners are just not natural or good.
So I'll get off my soap box and give you some alternatives ;0) I thought it was odd at first, but my husband's family puts yogurt and sour cream on their waffles/pancakes (it's actually very good!). You can add honey, or watered down honey, or even just lesser amounts of the syrup.
Just some ideas, though each parent is ultimately resopnsible for their own child's nutrition, and I think it's great that you're doing what you think is best for your son...you're so right that too much refined sugar is not good for him.
Take Care!

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