What to do about allergies in toddlers

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Further information

Sheet final reviewed: 24 July 2018
Next review due: 24 July 2021

en españolAlergia estacional (fiebre del heno)

Diagnosis

Seasonal allergies are fairly simple to identify because the pattern of symptoms returns from year to year following exposure to an allergen.

Talk with your doctor if you ponder your kid might own allergies. The doctor will enquire about symptoms and when they appear and, based on the answers and a physical exam, should be capable to make a diagnosis.

If not, the doctor may refer you to an allergist for blood tests or allergy skin tests.

To discover an allergy’s cause, allergists generally do skin tests in one of two ways:

  • A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is pricked with a little pricking device.If a kid reacts to the allergen, the skin will swell a little in that area.
  • itchy nose and/or throat
  • A little quantity of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t extremely painful.

    After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area appears (like a mosquito bite) at the injection site, the test is positive.

  • nasal congestion
  • sneezing
  • clear, runny nose
  • coughing

Even if a skin test or a blood test shows an allergy, a kid must also own symptoms to be definitively diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a kid who has a positive test for grass pollen and sneezes a lot while playing in the grass would be considered allergic to grass pollen.

About Seasonal Allergies

«Achoo!» It’s your son’s third sneezing fit of the morning, and as you hand him another tissue you wonder if these cold-like symptoms — the sneezing, congestion, and runny nose — own something to do with the recent weather change.

If he gets similar symptoms at the same time every year, you’re likely right: seasonal allergies are at work.

Seasonal allergies, sometimes called «hay fever» or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, generally when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.

The immune systems of people who are allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these particles (called allergens) as invaders and release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against them.

It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms.

People can be allergic to one or more types of pollen or mold. The type someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

For example, in the mid-Atlantic states, tree pollination is February through May, grass pollen runs from May through June, and weed pollen is from August through October — so kids with these allergies are likely to own increased symptoms at those times. Mold spores tend to peak midsummer through the drop, depending on location.

Even kids who own never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them. Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, though they generally develop by the time someone is 10 years ancient and reach their peak in the early twenties, with symptoms often disappearing later in adulthood.

Signs and Symptoms

If your kid develops a «cold» at the same time every year, seasonal allergies might be to blame.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

Allergy symptoms, which generally come on suddenly and final as endless as a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:

  1. sneezing
  2. clear, runny nose
  3. itchy nose and/or throat
  4. nasal congestion
  5. coughing

These symptoms often come with itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, which is called allergic conjunctivitis. Kids who own wheezing and shortness of breath in addition to these symptoms might own allergies that triggerasthma.

Treatment

There are numerous ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how severe the symptoms are. The most significant part of treatment is knowing what allergens are at work.

Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens that annoy them.

If certain seasons cause symptoms, hold the windows closed, use air conditioning if possible, and stay indoors when pollen/mold/weed counts are high.It’s also a excellent thought for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothing after playing outside.

If reducing exposure isn’t possible or is ineffective, medicines can assist ease allergy symptoms.

These may include decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal spray steroids. If symptoms can’t be managed with medicines, the doctor may recommend taking your kid to an allergist or immunologist for evaluation for allergy shots (immunotherapy), which can assist desensitize kids to specific allergens.

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Even if a skin test or a blood test shows an allergy, a kid must also own symptoms to be definitively diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a kid who has a positive test for grass pollen and sneezes a lot while playing in the grass would be considered allergic to grass pollen.

About Seasonal Allergies

«Achoo!» It’s your son’s third sneezing fit of the morning, and as you hand him another tissue you wonder if these cold-like symptoms — the sneezing, congestion, and runny nose — own something to do with the recent weather change.

If he gets similar symptoms at the same time every year, you’re likely right: seasonal allergies are at work.

Seasonal allergies, sometimes called «hay fever» or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, generally when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.

The immune systems of people who are allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these particles (called allergens) as invaders and release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against them. It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms.

People can be allergic to one or more types of pollen or mold.

The type someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. For example, in the mid-Atlantic states, tree pollination is February through May, grass pollen runs from May through June, and weed pollen is from August through October — so kids with these allergies are likely to own increased symptoms at those times. Mold spores tend to peak midsummer through the drop, depending on location.

Even kids who own never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them.

Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, though they generally develop by the time someone is 10 years ancient and reach their peak in the early twenties, with symptoms often disappearing later in adulthood.

Signs and Symptoms

If your kid develops a «cold» at the same time every year, seasonal allergies might be to blame. Allergy symptoms, which generally come on suddenly and final as endless as a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:

  1. sneezing
  2. clear, runny nose
  3. itchy nose and/or throat
  4. nasal congestion
  5. coughing

These symptoms often come with itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, which is called allergic conjunctivitis.

Kids who own wheezing and shortness of breath in addition to these symptoms might own allergies that triggerasthma.

Treatment

There are numerous ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how severe the symptoms are.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

The most significant part of treatment is knowing what allergens are at work. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens that annoy them.

If certain seasons cause symptoms, hold the windows closed, use air conditioning if possible, and stay indoors when pollen/mold/weed counts are high.It’s also a excellent thought for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothing after playing outside.

If reducing exposure isn’t possible or is ineffective, medicines can assist ease allergy symptoms.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

These may include decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal spray steroids. If symptoms can’t be managed with medicines, the doctor may recommend taking your kid to an allergist or immunologist for evaluation for allergy shots (immunotherapy), which can assist desensitize kids to specific allergens.

If you purchase something through a link on this sheet, we may earn a little commission. How this works.


How to tell if it’s a freezing or allergies

A runny nose and coughing are symptoms that can signal both an allergy and a common freezing. So as a parent or caregiver, how can you tell the difference when your baby exhibits those symptoms?

One way is to glance at the timing and frequency of your baby’s symptoms.

Colds are extremely common in babies, while seasonal and environmental allergies caused by allergens that are breathed in aren’t. Colds final a week or two, and then your baby will be well for a while until the next one hits. Allergy symptoms tend to final longer.

Another key is the presence or absence of certain other symptoms.

For example, allergies don’t cause fevers, but a fever occasionally accompanies a freezing.

Likewise, allergies don’t cause body aches and pains, though a freezing can often leave a kid achy every over.


Introducing foods that could trigger allergy

When you start introducing solid foods to your baby from around 6 months ancient, introduce the foods that can trigger allergic reactions one at a time and in extremely little amounts so that you can spot any reaction.

These foods are:

  1. cows’ milk
  2. soya
  3. eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
  4. shellfish (don’t serve raw or lightly cooked)
  5. nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
  6. foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
  7. seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
  8. fish

See more about foods to avoid giving babies and young children.

These foods can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby’s diet, just love any other foods.

Once introduced and if tolerated, these foods should become part of your baby’s usual diet to minimise the risk of allergy.

Evidence has shown that delaying the introduction of peanut and hen’s eggs beyond 6 to 12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy to these foods.

Lots of children outgrow their allergies to milk or eggs, but a peanut allergy is generally lifelong.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

If your kid has a food allergy, read food labels carefully.

Avoid foods if you are not certain whether they contain the food your kid is allergic to.


Signs of allergies

An allergic reaction occurs when your body’s immune system reacts abnormally to things that are normally harmless. Signs of an allergic reaction can vary greatly depending on the individual and the type of allergy.

Babies are much less likely than older children and adults to own numerous types of allergies, because you must be exposed to some things for a time before becoming allergic to them.

Seasonal allergies, for example, are unusual in babies as they haven’t lived through a season or two of high pollen counts.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

Most types of inhaled allergies are unusual before 1–2 years old.

Food and medicine allergies

Symptoms of a food or medicine allergy may appear within a few minutes, or an hour or two later. Some drug allergy signs, such as rashes, may not appear for several days.

The most common signs of food and medicine allergies include:

  1. hives or rashes
  2. itching
  3. wheezing or shortness of breath

Food allergies can also result in nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain.

In some cases, your baby’s lips or tongue may start to swell.

A potentially fatal reaction to a serious food or medicine allergy is a condition called anaphylaxis. It occurs when exposure to an allergen triggers overproduction of certain body chemicals. Those chemicals can send you into shock. Blood pressure will also drop dramatically and the airways narrow, making breathing difficult.

For children, severe food allergies are the most common reasons for anaphylaxis, but in rare cases, medications such as antibiotics and aspirin can be responsible.

Bee stings and other insect stings or bites can also cause anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is rare in babies and is almost always due to cow’s milk protein allergy.

Environmental allergies

Though unusual in babies, allergies to dust, pets, mold, pollen, insect stings, and other things in the environment may trigger allergy symptoms that affect the head and chest, such as:

  1. sneezing
  2. coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness
  3. red and itchy eyes
  4. runny nose

Your baby may also develop hives, a rash, or itchy bumps if their skin is exposed to an allergen or something to which they are sensitive.

Shampoos, soaps, detergents, and similar products are common triggers for a reaction called contact dermatitis.

Seasonal allergies

The main symptoms of seasonal allergies, which are generally caused by plant-based allergens, are similar to environmental allergy symptoms, and may include:

  1. sneezing
  2. coughing
  3. itchy or watery eyes
  4. runny nose

If your baby has these symptoms only at certain times of the year, they may own seasonal allergies.


How will I know if my kid has a food allergy?

An allergic reaction can consist of 1 or more of the following:

  1. diarrhoea or vomiting
  2. swollen lips and throat
  3. a cough
  4. runny or blocked nose
  5. itchy throat and tongue
  6. wheezing and shortness of breath
  7. itchy skin or rash
  8. sore, red and itchy eyes

In a few cases, foods can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that can be life-threatening.

What to do about allergies in toddlers

Get medical advice if you ponder your kid is having an allergic reaction to a specific food.

Don’t be tempted to experiment by cutting out a major food, such as milk, because this could lead to your kid not getting the nutrients they need. Talk to your health visitor or GP, who may refer you to a registered dietitian.


Can babies own allergies?

Like older children and adults, babies can own allergies to the foods they eat, the things they touch, and the unseen particles they inhale in the home or outdoors. And when your baby has symptoms of any helpful, it can be hard to figure out what’s incorrect because a little one can’t describe those symptoms.

There are numerous specific allergies a baby can own, though they can generally be divided into one of three categories:

  1. food and medicine
  2. environmental
  3. seasonal

Allergic reactions to food or medications generally happen soon after an item has been consumed.

They can be either extremely mild or life-threatening.

Environmental allergies can be things that touch your baby’s skin, such as detergent in clothes, or things that are inhaled, such as dust. Environmental allergies can affect your baby year-round.

Seasonal allergies, however, are generally a problem during certain parts of the year or in specific locations. They tend to originate outdoors from trees and other plants that grow in the area.

The term “hay fever” is sometimes used to describe these allergies.


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