If your child has an allergic reaction, you should have the knowledge needed to quickly spot the problem. By learning the common signs of food and environmental allergies, you can help protect your toddler from serious health problems. The following information will give you the tools necessary to identify the symptoms of these allergies so that you can quickly respond and treat them.
Identifying food allergies
When a child experiences an allergic reaction to food, they may exhibit one or more of several common symptoms. Some toddlers break out in hives or eczema when exposed to a food they are allergic to. Serious food allergies may result in respiratory distress such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, or coughing. If your toddler is exposed to a food allergen, they may also experience abdominal pain or vomiting.
Your child may not show the symptoms of an allergic reaction until the second or third time they consume a food. Wheat and milk allergies are often discovered after the child has already consumed them several times. Also, severe reactions often begin as milder allergic reactions. These reactions can quickly progress to severe respiratory distress or anaphylactic shock. It is important to slowly introduce food to your child and pay attention to any new allergy symptoms.
Identifying environmental allergies
Children often display seasonal or environmental allergies after the age of two. Toddlers show sensitivity to pollen around ages three to five. Pollen is responsible for many seasonal allergies. Symptoms can include itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and wheezing. Indoor allergens such as mold, animal dander, and dust can cause similar symptoms.
Seasonal and environmental allergies are diagnosed through skin-prick tests. To conduct the test, a pediatrician pricks the toddler’s skin on the arm with a variety of allergens. If redness or swelling appears, the pediatrician will determine which allergen caused the reaction. Blood tests then determine the child’s reactions to the specific allergens. Although seasonal and environmental allergens are uncomfortable for your toddler, they are not often considered dangerous conditions.
Treatment options for environmental and seasonal allergies depend on your toddler’s symptoms. Congestion can be treated with nasal saline rinses. More severe symptoms can be treated with antihistamines or nasal sprays. Speak to your pediatrician about allergy treatment options for your child’s specific symptoms.
In the case of an allergic reaction to food, you must stay calm. Many mild reactions can be treated with antihistamines such as Benadryl. Although mild reactions can be treated with over-the-counter medications, call 911 if your toddler has trouble breathing. Emergency personnel can often stop allergic reactions with an injection of epinephrine.
Allergy testing and treatment for toddlers in Amarillo, Texas
If your toddler is dealing with an unknown allergy, contact a pediatrician as as soon as possible. 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.