Allergies can affect everyone but it is especially common in children. Kids still lack the antibodies that they need to neutralize common allergens. While some allergies are outgrown by most patients, some cases can still prove to be deadly if left untreated.
What are allergies?
Allergies are usually a combination of symptoms like sneezing, having a stuffy nose, and itching that’s triggered by a variety of external factors like food, pollen, and insect bites. It is common during springtime when flowers and trees are in full bloom, releasing pollen into the air that may result in allergic rhinitis.
Kinds of allergies
In order to properly diagnose your child’s condition, your doctor needs to determine what the root cause of the allergic reaction is. There are different types of allergies, namely:
- Allergic rhinitis – also known as hay fever.
- Food allergy – Adults are usually allergic to nuts and seafood while some children may suffer from allergic reactions after eating eggs, peanuts, and drinking soy/cow’s milk.
- Pollen-food allergy – According to Mayo Clinic this is also known as oral allergy syndrome which affects people who suffer from hay fever. This allergic reaction causes the mouth to itch after consuming certain fruits which contain the same proteins found in some pollens.
- Insect allergy – occurs after being exposed/bitten by certain insects.
- Drug allergy – an allergic reaction to certain drugs like ibuprofen, etc.
- Atopic dermatitis – also called eczema.
- Pet allergies – an allergic reaction to the proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, urine, or saliva.
Manifestations of allergies may differ depending on the person and the main source of the allergy. Common signs that your child may be suffering from an allergic include:
- Red patches on your skin
- Postnasal drip
- Trouble sleeping due to symptoms
- Dry skin
- Facial swelling
- Anaphylaxis or tightening of airways (severe cases)
Who are at risk
People who have a family history of allergies are more likely to develop this health condition. Those who have existing allergies to certain foods are most likely allergic to another. Existing allergies like eczema may also increase your child’s risk of developing other forms of allergies. Similarly, having asthma can also contribute to the occurrence of allergies.
Allergies in children
Children are more at risk of suffering from food allergies since their bodies are still unable to properly digest some food components. Kids usually outgrow their allergies to eggs and milk but some are likely to be allergic to other food like nuts and shellfish for the rest of their lives.
Allergies are usually treated by antihistamine which is usually taken orally in pill or liquid form. Never administer allergy medicine that is not formulated for your child’s age. Ask your doctor about allergy medications which are formulated for kids.
There are many practical ways to avoid any form of allergic reaction including:
- Plan your child’s day ahead by bringing their own meals so you can control their food intake.
- Ask questions about the ingredients in dishes when you’re dining out.
- Make your child wear a medical bracelet or write down a list of child’s allergies someplace where it is accessible to people in their school and at home.
- Teach your child how to ask for help if she/he has allergies.
- Inform your child’s school/faculty that your child is suffering from allergies and have an action plan ready just in case of an emergency.
The medications listed above can be purchased without a prescription but you should always consult your child’s doctor before letting them take any form of medication, including vitamins. Stop taking any kind of medicine should an allergic/adverse reaction happen. Always update your healthcare professional on all the medications that your child is currently taking/taken in the past so he/she can properly prescribe the right kind of medicine for him/her.