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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Children's Health Allergies in children

Allergies in children

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Allergies are common in children. Commonly skin, gut, respiratory system and cardiac system are commonly invilved in allergies.

Allergies can trigger symptoms in any of these four body systems:

  • Skin.
  • Gastrointestinal tract.
  • Respiratory system.
  • Cardiovascular system.

Symptoms of allergies:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • tightness in the throat or feeling like the throat or airways are closing
  • hoarseness or trouble speaking
  • wheezing
  • nasal stuffiness or coughing
  • nausea, abdominal pain, or vomiting
  • fast heartbeat or pulse
  • Skin itching, tingling, redness or swelling.

Treatment of allergies:

  • Anti allergic medications like antihistamines like cetrizine, chlorphinaramine maleate, loratidine.
  • Decongestants: These medications decrease the symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids like prednisolone, hydrocortisone. They are highly effective in treatment of allergy.
  • Epinephrine: Used in severe allergic reactions.
  • Immunotherapy: Allergy shots are prescribed in those who have repeated attacks of cough and wheezing.

Common allergens at home

  • Dust (contains dust mites and finely ground particles from other allergens such as pollen and mould).
  • Pollen (trees, grasses, weeds)
  • Fungi (including moulds)
  • Furry animals (cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other pets)
  • Clothing and toys made, trimmed, or stuffed with animal hair
  • Latex (household articles such as utensils, toys, balloons, elastic in socks, underwear, and other clothing, airborne particles)
  • Seed dusts (beanbag toys and cushions)
  • Bacterial enzymes (used to manufacture enzyme bleaches and cleaning products)
  • Foods such as cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, soy, wheat and gluten, and corn.

Skin allergies (eczema):

These are red, itchy rashes, commonly seen in elbows, wrists and knees.

Food allergies also play a role in about 25 percent of cases of eczema in young children.

  • Antihistamine medication may be prescribed to relieve the itching, and help break the itch-scratch cycle.
  • Long-sleeved sleepwear may also help prevent night time scratching. Scratchy, rough and woolly clothes make eczema worse and should be avoided. Cotton clothes are good and should be worn as much as possible.
  • As long as steroid creams are used sparingly, at the lowest strength that does the job, steroid creams are very safe and effective.
  • A cortisone medication may be prescribed to reduce inflammation.
  • Soaps containing perfumes and deodorants may be too harsh for children's sensitive skin.
  • Use products that are free of dyes and perfumes and double-rinse clothes, towels and bedding.
  • Warm (never hot) showers may be preferable to baths. Gently pat the child dry after the shower or bath to avoid irritating the skin with rubbing.
  • Wash new clothes thoroughly before the child wears them.
  • Avoid triggers like excessive heat, sweating, excessive cold, dry air, chlorine, harsh chemicals, and soaps.

Respiratory allergy:

It is caused by allergens like dust, pollens, animal danders. It causes cough, wheezing, breathlessness, fatigue etc. It is treated with bronchodilators, corticosteroids and immunotherapy.