According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of food and skin allergies in children have been steadily rising. Below, are some common symptoms of child allergies and what to do if your child is showing signs of an allergic reaction.
Is Your Child Likely to Have Allergies?
It’s possible for any individual to be born with allergies or to develop them at some point. However, genetics play a part in the likelihood of having allergies. If you or your partner have allergic reactions, your children will be more likely to be born with or develop them as well. Discovering symptoms and taking action early will help your child to be healthier.
Signs of Child Allergies
If you suspect that your child is suffering from allergies, there are steps you can take to remedy the problem. Start by keeping an eye out for the following symptoms and take note of when and where they occur.
- Sneezing, coughing, and red itchy eyes
- A runny nose with clear discharge
- Shallow breathing or wheezing
- Hives or rashes
- Upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea
Several of these symptoms will look like the cold or flu. To distinguish between simply being sick and developing allergies, pay attention to how long the symptoms continue. If coughing and sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose continue for more than a week, allergies are more likely to blame.
Noting Triggers of Child Allergies
In addition to paying attention to the symptoms your child shows, it’s important to determine any potential triggers. When you see a reaction, such as sneezing when playing outside, make a note of where your child was and what they were doing when the symptoms started. There are several common airborne allergens that are most likely to affect children.
- Dust mites – carried through the air and often found on fabrics and in carpets
- Mold – which can be found outdoors or in poorly ventilated areas inside homes and other buildings
- Pets – due to dander or saliva which can end up on the fur
Food allergies are also becoming more prevalent in children. The leading food allergens include:
- tree nuts
- shellfish eggs
What to Do if You Suspect Child Allergies
In some cases, it will be easy to pinpoint child allergies as the cause of symptoms and a doctor will be able to share with you the best course of action. In other cases, allergy triggers won’t be as clear. Working with your doctor will help to determine what your child is reacting to and how to deal with the problem.
An allergist will complete tests to determine allergies. To test a variety of possible allergens, the allergist will use a small amount of the allergens to observe the skin’s reaction. The area will become red and slightly swollen if an allergy exists. After being tested and showing symptoms of allergies, you can take steps to keep your child healthy.
Treating Child Allergies
While allergies cannot be cured, reactions can be avoided. Helping your child to avoid contact with their allergens is, of course, the best place to start. It’s also important to educate your child about their allergy and the possible reactions they could have if exposed.
In some cases, the symptoms of allergies may impair quality of life. In these situations, you might choose for your child to have allergy shots, use an antihistamine, or have a procedure to alleviate symptoms. A Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure that offers relief from sinus pain, an issue that many allergy sufferers deal with.
In addition, there are several steps that can be taken at home and at school to avoid allergens.
- For those with pet allergies, keep family pets out of the child’s bedroom or rethink having a pet.
- When possible, choose hard floors rather than carpet, which will hold dust and dander.
- Those with pollen allergies should keep windows closed in their home. After being outdoors, the child should shower quickly to remove pollen from their skin. Clothing worn outdoors by the child should be laundered quickly for the same reason.
- Alert teachers, including gym teachers and lunch room monitors, about allergies, any medications your child may require, and what to do in case of a reaction.
The balloon sinuplasty treatment clears nasal passages to alleviate sinus pain and it may also help with allergy relief. Please contact the American Sinus Institute for more information on the procedure.