What's an allergy?
Allergies are hypersensitive responses from the body’s immune system to substances that either enter or come into contact with the body. When a child with allergies comes into contact with these substances – either by
eating it, or
having it injected
– it causes inflammation and irritation.
Allergic reactions may occur in the gut, skin, sinuses, airways, eyes, and nasal passages.
Common symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, itching, and coughing. Symptoms can be mild or more severe, intermittent (seasonal, for example), or ongoing because of constant exposure to the allergen. Often a severe reaction, called anaphylactic shock can occur which can cause symptoms – including difficulty breathing and swelling – can be life-threatening. This is a medical emergency.
Below is a range of various triggers and the symptoms:
Dust and pollen can cause:
1. Blocked nose, itchy eyes, and nose, runny nose, swollen and watery eyes, cough
2. Skin reactions, flaking, itching, peeling, rashes
Food allergies can result in:
1. Vomiting, swollen tongue, tingling in the mouth, swelling of the lips, face, and throat,
2. Shortness of breath, rectal bleeding, mainly in children, itchiness in the mouth, diarrhea
Insect stings can cause reactions like:
1. Wheezing, swelling at the site of the sting, a sudden drop in blood pressure, itchy skin
2. Shortness of breath, restlessness, hives, a red and very itchy rash that spreads across the body, dizziness
3. cough, chest tightness, anxiety, possible anaphylaxis
Always be careful when giving a child Medication. Some common reaction to medications is:
1. Wheezing, swollen tongue, lips, and face, skin rash, itchiness, possible anaphylaxis
Any child can have an allergic reaction. In new breast-feeding moms, some sensitive babies can have allergic
reactions to foods their mothers eat. Eliminating these foods from the mother’s diet may provide relief for the child.The most common allergies in children are to
tree nuts and
The most severe reactions are typically to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish — all allergies that can last a lifetime.
Children often outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, and wheat.
Allergies are the most common cause of a stuffy nose in children. This causes children to breathe through the mouth, especially while sleeping, Interrupting a restful night’s sleep and then be tired the next day. If the congestion and mouth-breathing are left untreated, they can affect the growth of teeth and the bones of the face. Early treatment of the allergies causing the nasal congestion may prevent these problems.
How to figure out what your child is allergic to?
The doctor will ask the patient questions regarding symptoms, when , how often, and what seems to cause them.
Below are some examples of allergy tests:
Blood test: This measures the level of IgE antibodies released by the immune system.
This test is sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test (RAST)
Skin prick test: This is also known as puncture testing or prick testing.
The skin is pricked with a small amount of a possible allergen.
If the skin reacts and becomes itchy, red, and swollen, it may mean an allergy is present.
Patch test: A patch test can identify eczema.
Special metal discs with very small amounts of a suspected allergen are taped onto the individual's back.
The doctor checks for a skin reaction 48 hours later, and then again after a couple of days.
The most effective treatment and management of an allergy is avoidance of the allergen.
Antihistamines and Decongestants can help with a blocked nose in cases of hay fever, pet allergy, or dust allergy.
To help kids avoid airborne allergens:
1. Keep family pets out of your child's bedroom.
2. Remove carpets or rugs from your child's room
(hard floors don't collect dust as much as carpets do).
3. Don't hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that allow dust to build up.
4. Clean when your child is not in the room.
5. Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your child is allergic
to dust mites.
6. If your child has a pollen allergy, keep the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, have your child take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors
7. Keep kids who are allergic to mold away from damp areas, and keep bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.