If your child coughs or sneezes frequently, gets skin rashes or hives, or feels bad after eating with a stomach ache, nausea or cramping, he/she may have allergies. Although a family history can predispose your child to allergies, they can develop at any time.
There are many allergy triggers that contribute to symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, dermatitis, eczema, and asthma. Common allergy triggers in children include:
* Outdoor Allergens – Plant and tree pollen, bug bites and insect stings
* Indoor Allergens – Dust mites, mold and pet or animal hair and dander
* Inhalants – Chemical cleaners, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, cigarette smoke and car exhaust
* Food – Milk and milk products, eggs, fish, nuts and peanut butter
Although there’s no known cure for allergies, identifying the allergen correctly and using an antihistamine for kids will keep them under control. With allergy control, you can improve the daily quality of your child’s life.
Common Childhood Allergies:
Allergic Rhinitis – Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is the most common childhood allergy. Typical symptoms include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, watery red eyes, an itchy nose, and nasal congestion.
Nasal Congestion – A stuffy nose is a common allergy symptom in kids. Congestion may be mild or so severe that it interferes with breathing, especially while sleeping. If congestion isn’t relieved, and mouth-breathing continues, it can affect the growth of facial bones and teeth in young children.
Ear Infections – Allergies often lead to ear infections in small children. Ear infections cause fluid to accumulate in the inner ear, often resulting in earaches, itchy ears, impaired hearing, and balance problems. Babies and young children who have impaired hearing while learning to talk often develop poor speech patterns.
Skin Rashes – Most skin rashes or hives in children are caused by food allergies, most commonly to milk and peanuts. The most severe allergic reactions usually come from different types of fish and shellfish, tree nuts like walnuts, cashews and pecans, and peanuts. Children often outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, wheat and soy, but other allergies can last a lifetime.
As a parent of a child with allergies to foods and insect stings, it’s important to understand the risk of anaphylactic shock that can be triggered by these types of allergens. Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction, can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure and impair normal breathing, If this occurs, epinephrine and emergency medical treatment must be administered right away.
Image above from cenovis.com.au.