There are many different allergies. The reactions they can cause can be very uncomfortable and scary for a child.
The more a parent knows about allergies and what to do in the event of a reaction, the more they will be able to help their child when a reaction happens. It will also help find long-term solutions to reduce the number of reactions and their severity. Here is a quick and simple guide to childhood allergies.
What Is An Allergic Reaction?
Our body’s immune system helps to protect us from many different kinds of illnesses and diseases and fights infections in our body to help keep us healthy. Allergic reactions happen when the immune system has a ‘false alarm’ and sees an allergen like pollen or dust as a threat and begins to react to it.
During an allergic reaction, antibodies in our immune system begin to release histamine to attack the allergen, and this causes the symptoms we associate with an allergic reaction. If the allergen is in the nasal passage, such as pollen, then the histamine will irritate the nasal tissue. When an allergen is in the lungs it will cause tightness in the chest, coughing, and asthma reactions.
Diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. There are so many potential triggers to a reaction, narrowing them down to the allergen responsible can take a lot of time and effort. The Children’s Allergy Doctors can help parents and children to diagnose an allergy and create a treatment plan to help reduce the number of reactions and their severity.
What Can Cause An Allergic Reaction?
The list of potential allergens is long and potentially endless. One of the most common allergic reactions is to pollen, which we call hay fever. The pollen in the air is inhaled, and the immune system reacts, causing sneezing and irritation in the nose and airway, as well as itchy and reddened eyes.
Food allergies are also common, with one of the most well-known being a nut allergy. As this food is ingested through the mouth and swallowed, this reaction can be potentially life-threatening as the throat can swell, blocking the airway and preventing breathing. There is a long list of foods that can cause an allergic reaction, and determining which ones are causing a reaction in your child will take professional help and a number of tests.
Skin reactions can be caused by laundry detergents, bath soaps, and even some metals. These are called contact allergies and often cause redness and irritation on the skin and small bumps or blisters. This is known as contact allergic dermatitis, and the reaction can be painful for some small children.
What Should I Do If My Child Has Allergic Reactions?
For immediate treatment of a mild allergic reaction, antihistamines can help reduce or even stop symptoms. These come in many forms, and in liquid form can be very fast acting and easier for a child to take. If your child is suffering a severe allergic reaction, which may include a rash on their torso, you should seek medical advice and treatment immediately from either your family’s GP or at a hospital.
With the right help and advice, you can help your child to control their allergies and reduce the number of reactions they experience.