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What Parents Should Know About Pediatric Allergies

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Child sneezing

Children that have allergies deal with a hypersensitivity to one or more substances that would be harmless to most people. When a substance is introduced to the lungs, nose, mouth, or skin, they develop an allergic response. About 15 to 20 percent of all children deal with allergic reactions.

Allergies cause illness and missed school days for many children. Studies have shown that allergies are most common in boys under age 10. Girls between 10 and 20 years of age are also more likely to deal with allergies. If you think your child may be dealing with allergies, it is important to understand what is causing them and how to treat the condition.

Symptoms of allergies

Allergic reactions can occur on nearly any part of the body. The location of the allergic reaction will determine the symptoms produced by the allergen. If the reaction is in the nose, symptoms may include sneezing, nasal itching, runny nose, or stuffiness. Allergic reactions in the eye include symptoms like redness, swelling, tearing, and itching. Those experiencing allergies in the bronchial tubes and lungs may suffer from asthmatic symptoms like wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing. Reactions on the skin can cause rashes like hives and eczema.

Allergic reactions that occur in the eyes, nose, or bronchial tubes are typically caused by airborne allergies. Airborne allergies may be caused by pollen, mold, dust mites, or animal dander. Reactions involving the skin or digestive tract could be caused by foods. In some instances, a rash can also be caused by an airborne allergen. Sudden asthmatic symptoms, like wheezing, can be triggered by certain foods. Speaking with a pediatrician and having allergy testing done can help isolate the cause of specific allergic reactions.

What causes allergies in children?

Children are not always born with allergies, but they have the capacity to develop them. Also, some children have an inherited predisposition for allergy development. A child can become allergic to something after repeated exposure to an allergen, although some allergies can form after only one exposure.

Children with a tendency to develop allergic reactions may deal with milk allergies shortly after birth and allergies to pet dander at a young age. These children may experience additional allergic reactions as they encounter new things in their environment. Many allergies are life-long, although some may be lost over time. It is important to see a pediatrician if your child becomes allergic to something new, or suddenly loses an allergy.

Treatment for pediatric allergies

The best treatment for alleviating allergies in children is eliminating whatever allergen is causing the issue. Simply removing the allergen can eliminate symptoms. If avoidance fails to alleviate pediatric allergy symptoms, a medication may be used to help. Your pediatrician can prescribe a long-lasting antihistamine, which is generally effective. Some children may need allergy shots or vaccines to keep their symptoms under control as well.

If you suspect your child has allergies, finding the right pediatrician with experience in allergy testing is important. The office of Dr. John Young in Amarillo, Texas is committed to making allergy testing as easy as possible for you and for your child. Call us today at (806) 354-0404 ext. 330 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our services. You can also visit our office in person at 1500 S. Coulter St., Suite #3 in Amarillo.