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Parents who take steps toward identifying and treating child allergies ensure healthy kids for a lifetime.
Child allergies can be scary, but educated doctors and parents can help keep kids safe.
Child allergies can be caused by a variety of factors. Understanding what’s causing your child’s allergies can help you figure out which allergy relief steps are appropriate for controlling the condition. Some kids experience allergies as a result of exposure to certain things in their environment, such as dogs, cats, hay, dust, mites, perfume, cigarette smoke or pollen. Other children are allergic to certain foods, such as milk or peanuts, and some kids have allergies as a result of contact with certain materials and substances. There are several tests that pediatricians will administer to find out what’s triggering your child’s allergies. This helps you work together to develop a treatment plan while identifying and treating child allergies.
Perhaps one of the first signals that a child has an allergy is when the body reacts to an irritant or food. Not all kids have allergies, but some research shows that they are genetic, so if you or your partner have an allergy, you should be on the lookout for one in your child. Understanding the symptoms is one of your first steps in identifying and treating child allergies. Many children get hives or rashes on their body as part of an allergic reaction. Sometimes sneezing, a cough and a runny nose can indicate allergies. For some kids, an allergic reaction produces an upset stomach. The most alarming and dangerous symptom of allergies is trouble breathing. There are many incidences of children who have died due to anaphylaxis or narrowing of the airways during an allergic reaction. Getting medical care immediately in any of these cases is important.
For many parents, keeping an allergy journal is one of the first steps toward determining the triggers. Parents will keep track of when their child experiences allergy symptoms and will also record what they ate or were exposed to just prior to the reaction. In the case of food allergies, doctors will administer food allergy testing, which involves exposing the child to a small amount of the possible allergen. This allows a doctor to see which foods are causing a reaction so they can be limited or cut from the diet. Food allergy testing should only be done in a medical setting by a professional in the field. When it comes to environmental allergens, a doctor will help you figure out which one is the culprit so measures can be taken to avoid the allergen in the future.
There are several ways to treat your child’s allergies so you will have some options, allowing you to choose what’s right for your child. Allergy medication is one common way to control symptoms and provide allergy relief when the condition occurs. There are several types of allergy medicine, including over-the-counter products and those you can only get with a prescription. They come in the form of liquids, pills and injections, and the one that’s best for your child will depend on his specific allergy. One important kind of allergy medicine is an Epi pen, which is used to counteract symptoms of a food allergy. If you child is allergic to a certain food, you will need to carry the Epi pen with you at all times just in case he or she is exposed to an allergen. Immunotherapy is another option but is used only in severe cases or when a child doesn’t respond to other forms of treatment. It involves gradual exposure to pure allergens over a given amount of time. The goal with this treatment is to help a child’s body build up a tolerance for the allergen, which can limit or eliminate symptoms.
Death is the most extreme complication when it comes to a child’s allergies, but there are other things to consider even if they aren’t as scary or dangerous. Many children who have allergies are at a higher risk of asthma, which requires careful and monitored treatment. Some children also suffer from skin issues, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, in conjunction with their allergies. Topical treatments can often help keep these issues at bay. Fungal complications in the lungs or sinuses are also possible, so it’s important for your child to see his or her doctor or allergist on a regular basis to stay on top of these issues.
One of the biggest fears parents have is sending their allergic child to school. When it comes to food allergies, your child’s school should always have an Epi pen on hand so that it can be used at any time. You should also work out an emergency plan with the school personnel so they are equipped and prepared should food allergy symptoms occur at school. When it comes to identifying and treating child allergies of other kinds, you can leave antihistamines or other types of allergy medication with the school nurse to be given to your child if they have symptoms, including a runny nose, coughing or a rash on their skin. Be sure you and your child’s school are on board with the treatment plan so that your child is always safe, no matter where he or she happens to be.
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