A growing number of children are suffering with severe allergic reactions from eating kiwi fruit, according to research.

A growing number of children are suffering with severe allergic reactions from eating kiwi fruit, according to research.

A study found that as many as two thirds of children became ill after eating the fruit for the first time, with symptoms including collapsing, wheezing and swelling of the tongue.

The research, which examined 300 adults and children, found that in a number of cases, including two four-month-old babies and a one-year-old, children were admitted to hospital because of the severity of their reaction.

The findings of the research, by the University of Southampton, prompted the Food Standards Agency to issue a caution to parents.

Dr Jane Lucas, who led the two-year study, said: "We decided to investigate because we had seen an increasing number of children in our clinic with kiwi fruit allergy. They reacted at a very early age and often had severe symptoms. This was different to the limited reports of kiwi allergy in the medical literature, which predominantly described adults with mild symptoms."

In a poll two years ago one in 10 children chose kiwis as their favourite fruit, making them almost as popular as bananas and apples.

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