Posts for tag: Allergies
Millions of American children have allergies, which may be caused by any number of plants, animals, foods and other environmental factors. Signs of an allergic reaction vary widely, as well, not to mention their range in severity, so knowing how to spot and respond to an allergic reaction is crucial knowledge for any parent.
Because allergens have the potential to set off life-threatening responses in the body, it's important to know when your child needs emergency medical attention. Anaphylaxis is the most serious allergic reaction and requires a call to 911. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include nausea, trouble breathing, vomiting, swelling, and diarrhea, and the reaction could cause the sufferer to pass out or experience cardiac arrest.
Often, allergic reactions present as irritations, rather than sudden, life-threatening symptoms.Though less severe, sensations like watery eyes, should not be ignored.
How Can I Treat a Mild Allergic Reaction?
When your child has an allergic reaction that does not need emergency medical attention, there are several things you can do. You can get overthe-counter treatments, such as antihistamines that can be administered orally or topical ointments to relieve itching, swelling and hives. Keep a diary of your child's reactions: How does he or she react to eating certain foods? What was he or she doing before symptoms appear? Does anyone in your family have allergies? Use these notes to help a professional diagnose your child's symptoms — don't attempt to identify an allergy on your own.
Because of allergies' serious consequences, you should schedule an appointment with your pediatrician or an allergist as soon as you notice signs of an allergic reaction. The doctor will administer tests, which can provide some diagnostic guidance, but your observations are crucial to an accurate assessment of your child's potential allergy. When the cause has been identified, be sure to alert anyone who cares for the child, including school or daycare facilities, and start educating your child about what he or she can or cannot have.
Allergies can pop up at any time, even in adulthood, but they can also go away, so have your child tested every few years. Perhaps most important, ask your doctor about products that contain your child's allergen — it's not always as obvious as you'd think it would be.
Your child is sneezing, coughing and congested. Is it the common cold? Or is it seasonal allergies? And what is the best way to give them relief from these symptoms?
Allergies and colds often have overlapping symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, cough and low energy. It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is battling a stubborn virus or having an allergic reaction.
Kids with a cold may feel achy and develop a sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose and low-grade fever. A cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days before it starts to improve. Since common colds are viral infections, they can’t be cured with antibiotics. To ease your child’s symptoms or discomfort, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and rest.
If your child’s stuffy nose lingers for several days, this may be an indication that they are suffering from allergies and not a cold. In fact, allergy symptoms can last for weeks to months.
Telltale signs that your child has allergies and not a cold include:
- Cold-like symptoms linger for more than a few weeks
- Chronic (continual) cough
- Mucous is clear
- Persistent stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose, ears, mouth and/or throat
- Itchy, watery, red eyes
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Wheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms
- Unexplained bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and other intestinal symptoms
In some cases, reducing the triggers that are causing the allergic reaction can control many allergy symptoms. This may include washing your child’s bedding and toys to remove dust and bacteria, bathing pets regularly, vacuuming your home at least once a week and replacing furnace and air filters every few months.
Although common colds and allergies have similar symptoms, there are distinct clues that help parents differentiate one from the other. When in doubt about your child’s symptoms, always contact your Edison pediatrician.