For mother’s with children who suffer from allergies, coping with childhood allergies can be tough considering they are exposed to an enormous amount of allergens throughout the day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 73,000 children in the U.S suffer from allergies. Allergies are the third most common cause of chronic disease in children. The three most common form of allergies are allergic rhinitis, food allergies, and atopic dermatitis.
Childhood Allergies: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies
Allergens come in different forms: dust, pollen, mold and mildew, tobacco smoke, dander, chemicals, weather conditions, medication, and bugs. When we are exposed to these allergens, our bodies react in certain ways to cause symptoms like the sniffles, drowsiness, anaphylaxis, sneezing, runny nose, swollen or watery eyes, and more. The symptoms can range from mild, moderate, to medium; in severe cases they can become deadly. When we are exposed to foreign substances (allergens), our immune systems react in a certain way to bring about irritating results. Although there is not cure, there are ways to control the symptoms.
Causes: Allergies in children may arise from a different number of factors: exposure, immune system sensitivity, genetics, and more. There have been instances when children develop allergies after being exposed to allergens, but many children suffer allergies that are innate. Causes of allergies include the following: food, pollen, mold and mildew, exposure to an environment of smoke, chemicals, pollution, and more. Common food allergies include lactose, gluten, eggs, peanuts, and shellfish.
For asthma sufferers:
Beyond Allergens And Triggers: Getting to the Root Cause of Allergies and Asthma
There are ways to combat the symptoms of allergies and find relief.
Allergy shots: Allergy shots are a well known form of treatment for allergies. They are injections that contain allergens; they contain enough amount of the allergens not to cause an harmful reaction. The dosage of allergens in the injections increase overtime, which causes the body to become desensitized. The benefit of taking allergy shots is long term. Eventually, the symptoms subside.This medical treatment falls under the category of immunotherapy. It is very important to consult your doctor about this form of treatment. They will better inform you about the risks and benefits.
Environmental changes. In the case that your child suffers an allergy to dust mites, mold, mildew, or pet dander, there are environment changes that can help prevent the symptoms. Allergies tend to flare up when children use certain types of bedding. In this case, limit your child’s bedding to cotton-made products. There are also allergy sheets available at retailers that can help reduce your child’s exposure to allergens. Also, ensuring the cleanliness of your child’s room and home can reduce their symptoms. By cleaning frequently, you can reduce the amount of dust in your child’s room. Keeping doors and windows shut can also reduce exposure. Depending on your child’s sensitivity to pet dander, not having animals in the house or limiting their exposure can help.
Avoidance: If your children have a sensitivity outdoor allergens, avoiding the exposure help. This involves limiting outdoor exposure and showering before and after outdoor playtime or sports events. Sniffles or scratchy eyes can be very frustrating and bothersome for children. It can interfere with a child’s ability to play outside and enjoy time with their peers.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines are medications that block histamines that can flow through our blood circulatory system. Histamines are a result of an immune sensitivity to allergens. Both over-the-counter and prescription drug options are available. There are also off brand and name brand options that differ in price and ingredients: off brand options are always less expensive.
Diet changes: Food allergies can pose a threat to your child’s safety and security. If you have a child with allergies, here are a few suggestions on how to relieve them of the frustrating symptoms. First, avoid the foods that cause the allergic reaction. This can be done by the means of eliminating the food from the diet and/or finding food replacements. In addition, educate your child about their food sensitivities so they know what not to eat. Finally, avoiding eating out or choose your restaurant choices wisely. Always order carefully or choose restaurants that have allergen free options and information. If worse comes to worse, bring food from home and control what your child is being fed.
USDA: Care for Children With Food Allergies
EpiPen: EpiPens are epinephrine injections that treat anaphylaxis, which is a deadly reaction resulting from an exposure to allergens. During anaphylaxis, the airways constrict, limiting the amount of air your child can breath in. It can also lead to a number of other reactions, including swelling, inflammation, rashes, low blood pressure, and more. For children who may experience anaphylaxis, keep an EpiPen on hand. Teach your child how to use it, or give them information on where to find it. In the case that you or your child go through anaphylaxis, immediately call 911.
There are both nonpharmaceutical and pharmaceutical forms of treatment for childhood allergies. Diagnosing an allergy for your child can be done through the means of skin testing and other forms of allergy testing. Contact your local dermatologist for more information regarding your child’s allergies.