Childhood Allergies

Childhood allergies can be developed due to medication, food, and environmental substances. It can happen at any time and the reaction may be frightening or uncomfortable or mild or severe enough to call for emergency treatment.



Causes

The antibodies can produce mediators, designed to destroy any harmful attacks and in turn, it can generate histamines that increase the function of the immune system to fight against foreign substances; however, sometimes it can cause life threatening symptoms, such as allergic reaction.

Symptoms

The symptoms vary from one person to another, depending on how sensitive the child is and how much exposure is present.  Allergies caused due to medication or food can be more serious and usually include hives and may experience respiratory symptoms, like airway obstruction and asthma, which require instant medical care. Environmental substances can cause reaction that’s limited to rash, hives, and sings of watery eyes or runny nose.

Coughing, sneezing, irritation around eyes and runny nose are the common signs of allergies; wheezing, tightness in the chest, and chronic cough may be the symptoms of children having asthma.

Food Allergies

Some young children may develop an allergy to milk and it’s a must to feed children a diet free of dairy products. Some allergies could be a reaction to the whites of yolks of the egg and in such cases children shouldn’t be given influenza vaccine. Even insect bite can develop skin irritation; contact dermatitis who handles cases on irritated skin or red patches so that poisonous substances can be suspected very easily, if any. Some children may experience headache, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, and vomiting, depending on the severity of the allergy.

Exposure to pet dander or dust mites can cause respiratory problems, such as runny nose, cold, cough, and asthma. Medications too can cause allergic reactions in hives, anaphylactic shock, rash, acute respiratory distress, and joint pain.  Few drugs can cause reaction right at the first dose, while few may occur after several days of taking medicine.

Potential Side Effects of Allergies

Childhood allergies can be effectively treated with the right medications so that they do not build up side effects from it being untreated.  For example, ear infection can cause hay fever, without treatment that can eventually lead to hearing loss. Food allergy can worsen over time, if not treated, leading to life-threatening side effects.

Important Note to Parents

The best way to feel prepared to deal with allergies is to understand what’s causing it and how it can be treated. Avoiding the stuffs that cause allergic reactions in children is the first defence. Since these reactions can be severe, it’s important to know about the common food that may trigger reaction in your child and consult paediatrician and seek medical care immediately.  Few allergies can be hereditary and easily get passed to child from parent and hence, be educated about allergic reactions in your child so that you can take appropriate action at the right time.