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Kid's Allergy

Kid's Allergy


Allergy Symptoms and Treatment

Allergies are extremely common; Allergies are an overreaction of part of the body's immune system, that complex network of special cells and tissues, which normally help protect the body from foreign substances. The body's immune system misinterprets some substances that are usually harmless as being foreign or potentially harmful. As a result, the immune system makes substances such as IgE antibodies and histamine, which are released into the blood stream to fight off these foreign or potentially harmful substances. This starts an inflammatory reaction in different parts of the body, and allergy symptoms develop. Some organs that can be affected by allergic reactions are the eyes, nose, skin, lungs and the digestive system.

Symptoms and Signs of Allergies

Allergies can cause many different symptoms depending on the age of the child and which organ in the body is affected by the allergic reaction.

  • An allergic reaction may affect the skin, causing a rash. Hives, with itchy, raised red welts, are a common allergic rash.
  • Allergies of the digestive system may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
  • Allergies affecting the nose are the most common, and are usually due to allergens that are inhaled.
  • Nasal allergies, called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, may cause a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, red watery eyes, and cough.
  • Young children with allergies may have symptoms of asthma: rapid, shallow breathing, wheezing (a whistling exhalation), and a dry cough.

How to Prevent Allergies

If it is impossible to completely avoid the substance to which a child is allergic, it is important to minimize the child's exposure to the allergen.

  • In known cases of allergy to house dust mites, avoid wall-to-wall carpets, curtains, and stuffed animals in the child's bedroom. Use allergy covers for pillows and mattresses. Clear away toys and store them in a cupboard. Clean all rooms in the house regularly.
  • Children with allergies to dogs or cats should not have these pets indoors and should be kept away from such animals when visiting friends and family. Be sure to tell all relatives, friends, and the child's school if the child is allergic to certain foods, especially in the case of a peanut allergy.

Keep all children with known allergies away from cigarette smoke, as this can worsen the child's allergy symptoms. Avoid public places where people are smoking.

Treatment for Allergies

If you suspect that your child may have allergies, talk with a doctor, who may be able to diagnose allergies by examining your child and reviewing her symptoms and medical history. In some cases, the doctor may order some blood or skin tests to make a diagnosis. If there are signs of asthma, lung function testing might also be appropriate.

When symptoms persist despite these measures, various allergy medications are available. For example, some antihistamines block the immune system from releasing histamine into the blood, stopping allergic reactions before they start or slowing them down once they have begun. Steroids work to decrease the inflammation caused by the immune reaction; these can be in the form of nasal sprays, eyedrops, and pills or liquids taken orally. Allergy shots, the injection of tiny doses of an allergen, are helpful for some patients; they work by producing antibodies against the allergen, preventing severe allergic reactions in the future.


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