Do you wonder about the symptoms of allergy in babies, and think that your child might have it? Here’s everything you need to know about common allergies in babies
What can you read in this article?
- Symptoms of allergy in babies
- What causes allergies to develop
- Child skin allergy treatment
As our children grow older, we discover a lot about them, even about their health. Is their immune system weak or rarely get sick? We also notice what diseases they often experience.
Although it is common for children to get a viral infection because their immune system is not very developed, there are also conditions that are not caused by infection or infectious disease.
If your child sneezes often or develops rashes that are not severe but come back, it may be a sign that they have allergies.
What causes allergies to develop
Symptoms of allergy in babies
Having an allergy is the strange reaction of our immune system to something that is not normally harmful to other people.
When a child is allergic to something, his immune system thinks it will harm his body, so it makes a way to fight it by having rashes, crying, coughing, or sneezing.
According to Dr. Angelica Tomas, a pediatrician from Makati Medical Center, the allergy is likely to be inherited by a child from his parents.
“We usually ask the parents if they have allergies like asthma, allergic rhinitis or food allergies, or allergies to medications. Because in that case, there is a high chance that their children will inherit those allergies.”
But a child can have allergies even if his parents do not have allergies.
There are so many things in our environment that can trigger a child’s allergies. These are called allergens which can be inhaled, ingested or acquired from a bite or injection, or passed through the skin.
It is important for a parent to know what is causing his or her child’s allergies to know the right child skin allergy treatment.
Here are common allergens that are airborne or transmitted from the air:
- dust mites or dust
- pollen (from plants)
- molds or mold
- animal fur
- cockroach and its droppings
These are allergens from food:
Other possible causes of allergies are insect bites, medications, and other chemicals such as household cleaning products or pesticides.
Common child allergies
Because allergens vary depending on the person, their possible effects on them also vary. Here are some possible and common symptoms or signs of allergy in babies.
1. Rashes, itchy patches on the skin, or contact dermatitis
When redness of the skin appears on various parts of the body, due to exposure or touch to an allergen, it is called allergic contact dermatitis.
Some of its symptoms are excessive itching, recurrent rash, excessive redness of the skin or thick patches on the skin, and sometimes small skin rashes.
There is also an inflammation called angioedema. It appears on the skin around the eyes, mouth, and genitals. In babies, it appears on the cheeks, behind the ears, chest, back, arms, legs, and groin.
Babies are closer to skin allergies than adults, and should not be ignored.
It is a severe allergic reaction and worsens rapidly, which when left untreated is extremely dangerous. Common allergens that cause it are foods, drugs, insect bites, latex, etc.
Common symptoms are itchy skin, recurrent rash, difficulty breathing due to swelling of the throat or tongue, vomiting, dizziness, and low blood pressure, and may worsen or spread immediately.
3. Seasonal allergies in children: Allergic Rhinitis
Symptoms of allergy in babies. | Image from Freepik
Seasonal allergies also known as Allergic Rhinitis, hit at different periods of the year, when pollen from trees, grass, flowers, and weeds, as well as mold spores, are released into the air to fertilize plants.
Seasonal allergy symptoms develop when pollen and spores in the air cause an allergic reaction in the eyes, nose, and throat.
When a child’s allergy is noticed with frequent sneezing, especially in the morning and itching or redness of the eyes, it may be allergic rhinitis. It can be caused by:
- cigarette smoke
- viral infections
- pollen, dust
- dust mites on carpets, beds, pillows, airconditioning
- furry animals
- cold weather or
- changing weather
9 Things that parents need to know about allergies
How to prevent allergy and asthma attacks for children
Cold Urticaria: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment For This Skin Allergy
4. Eczema or atopic dermatitis
Food allergies can make it worse, but it’s not the only cause. It is triggered by allergens and irritants such as sweat, or extremely dry skin, and worsens due to infection. It can also be due to dust and smoke, changing weather, or exposure to sudden heat or sudden cold.
There are also food allergies that the child may not eat directly but get from breastfeeding. There are also allergens from soap, shampoo, lotion, oil, etc.
In infants, eczema is noticed by dry and thickening patches on the skin, maybe reddish that later darkens, itching, resulting in a watery rash.
Often it is on only one part of the body — scalp, legs, back, arms, and sometimes spreads as well. Eczema can also be hereditary, and there is no definitive cure for it.
Food allergies in children
A food allergy is a body’s aberrant reaction to a certain food. It’s vital to distinguish this from food intolerance, which doesn’t influence the immune system but can cause some of the same symptoms.
Food allergies trigger an immunological response in your child, resulting in symptoms that range from annoying to life-threatening. Although certain symptoms may be similar to those of food allergy, food intolerance does not influence the immune system.
A sensitive child must have been exposed to the food at least once before developing a food allergy reaction, or they could be sensitized through breast milk. Because the allergy symptoms appear after your child consumes the meal for the second time.
When IgE antibodies react with food, histamines are generated, which can cause hives, asthma, itching in the mouth, difficulty breathing, stomach cramps, vomiting, and/or diarrhea in your child.
Child skin allergy treatment
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
The number one way to prevent an allergy attack is to avoid being exposed to allergens that can trigger it. You can also take medications.
Depending on the part of the body affected by the allergy, the antihistamine can be taken in a form of:
- nasal spray
Antihistamines are used to prevent allergic reactions in cases where you know you will be exposed to allergens.
For a stuffy nose caused by allergies, decongestants can be used. It can be a tablet, capsule, nasal spray or liquid. However, it should not be used for more than a week. Using decongestants for too long may make the allergy symptoms you are experiencing worse.
3. Lotions and creams
Red and itchy skin caused by an allergic reaction can be treated with over-the-counter creams and lotions. Moisturizing creams keep the skin moist and protect it from allergens.
To relieve itching, you can use calamine lotion. To relieve inflammation, steroids can be used with the recommendation or advice of a doctor.
Steroids that can help relieve inflammation caused by an allergic reaction are available as:
- Nasal sprays and eye drops for inflamed eyes and nose.
- Creams for eczema and contact dermatitis.
- Inhalers for asthma.
- Tablets for hives or urticaria.
5. Observe and wait it out
The allergic reaction can go away on its own even without medication. But if nothing seems to be happening with over-the-counter medicines and the child’s allergies do not improve, he or she should be taken to the doctor.
How to prevent common child allergies from worsening
As mentioned, the most effective way to avoid allergies is to avoid the things that trigger them. Keep the environment clean and choose products that are gentle on the child’s skin.
- Make sure the house is clean and free of insects. If there is air conditioning in the house, clean it regularly.
- Have a list of foods with allergens to avoid eating them. Read the ingredients of food, shampoo, soap, etc., to make sure there are no allergens that can make the condition worse.
- Have your child wear clothes that are fresh on the body to prevent sweating.
If you want to read the Filipino version of this article, click here.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on October 21, 2016
Dr. Divya Monnappa, Specialist Dermatologist sa Aster Clinic, Al Barsha, Dubai
Allergies in Children (Copyright ? 1997 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 4/2013), NHS, Kid’s Health, Hopkins Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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