Allergies

Parents dread it when their child is constantly sneezing and irritated because of allergy related symptoms. A reassuring fact is that many childhood allergies may disappear as a child grows into adolescents as well as into adulthood. Nonetheless, a child who sneezes, coughs, develops rashes or hives, gets regular stomachaches, cramps or nausea after eating certain foods or after being exposed to certain irritants may have allergies. These may be alarming signs your child needs medical attention right away. Common allergy triggers in children include:

  • Outdoors
    • Tree pollen
    • Plant pollen
    • Insect bites
    • Insect stings
  • Indoors
    • Pet or animal dander
      • Puppy, kitten, gerbil, rabbit, etc.
    • Dust mites
    • Mold
  • Irritants
    • Cigarette smoke
    • Perfumes
    • Car exhaust
  • Foods
    • Peanuts
    • Strawberries
    • Eggs
    • Milk – lactose intolerance
    • Dairy – milk products
    • Pests – cockroaches, mice, rats
    • Fish
    • Wheat – Celiac disease (IgA)
    • Shellfish
    • Soy
  • Medications
    • Penicillin
    • Sulfa drugs.

One of the commonly identified allergies in children is allergic rhinitis:

  • Presents in early childhood
  • Immunoglobulin E-mediated reaction to various allergens in the nasal mucosa
  • Rhinitis
    • Rhinorrhea
    • Nasal congestion
    • Postnasal drainage
    • Repetitive sneezing
    • Itching of palate, ears, nose, eyes
  • Snoring
  • Sore throats
  • Clearing throat
  • Cough
  • Headaches.

Parent or guardian should check whether the symptoms are worsened in any particular season as well as location. If there is a family member with a history of allergic rhinitis, a child will have a higher likelihood of being affected.

The part most parents dread the most is the way in which their child is tested for allergies. Unfortunately, there is no simple non-invasive test for allergic rhinitis, for which reason a series of tests need to be done:

  • Skin-prick test: extremely reliable form of testing
    • Parents should be made aware of what this test comprises of beforehand so they can be calm while the child is being pricked
  • Serum allergen testing: blood test to test for IgE response
  • Nasal smear: eosinophils indicate allergy
  • CBC: elevated eosinophils may indicate allergies
  • Serum IgE: normal range does not exclude allergic rhinitis.

Fortunately, once the cause for allergies is identified then it is simple for the physician to narrow down treatment and management:

  • Antihistamines – taken by mouth can help with itchy watery eyes, runny noses and sneezing
  • Intranasal antihistamines
  • Corticosteroids
  • Inhaled corticosteroids – very effective against chronic symptoms
  • Intranasal decongestants
  • Intranasal mast cell stabilizers
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists
  • Allergy extracts
  • Allergy immunotherapy – or allergy shots.

Moreover, those parents or guardians residing in Denver with their children may visit the Denver Holistic Center for more information.  Furthermore, parents, guardians and teachers should be made aware of a child’s allergies and/or asthmatic conditions to avoid putting the child in a situation where their symptoms may be exacerbated. Additionally, it is important that the appropriate medication, which is prescribed to the child, be administered in a case of an attack. Eczema is another common form of allergy known as atopic dermatitis. Children or adolescents with eczema should regular moisturize their skin, avoid taking more than a bath a day, and protect their body from outside irritants by wearing long-sleeved clothing. Allergies have become a very common and frequent reason for children to miss school and visit the doctor. If your child experiences these symptoms continuously, after logging how and when the allergic attacked occurred, visit your doctor to find the why.

 

 Figure 1 – How an allergic response may be triggered.

Figure 1 – How an allergic response may be triggered.

 Figure 2 – Common allergy triggers.

Figure 2 – Common allergy triggers.