Allergy in children

Allergy in children

Allergies are common in children. Around 40% to 50% of children may suffer from allergies at some point in their lives.

The most common allergies are:

  • food allergies
  • eczema (skin allergy)
  • hay fever

WHY DO CHILDREN ARE MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP ALLERGIES?

This may be due to immune system overactivity. At some stage, the immune system mistakenly identifies something which is harmless, like dust mites or pollen, as a threat and in this case, it is called an allergen because after exposure to this allergen, the body starts to defend itself by the production of antibodies and secretion of other substances as histamine which causes symptoms of allergy.

HOW TO KNOW IF MY CHILD HAS ALLERGIES?

Symptoms of allergy vary from child to other. These symptoms can be unpredictable and differ in their severity. If the allergic symptoms start mild, this does not mean that future reactions will be mild too.

ALLERGY SYMPTOMS

Allergies may be caused by airborne allergens as mould, spores, pet dander, dust mites and pollen. Allergic rhinitis and other types of allergies usually develop during childhood and may diminish later in life.

Symptoms of allergies can include:

  • Frequent Sneezing
  • Itchy nose and throat
  • Blocked nose or runny nose
  • Cough
  • Watery, itchy and/or red eyes which is known as allergic conjunctivitis
  • “Allergic shiners” they are bluish dark circles under the eyes caused by of nose congestion.

FOOD, MEDICATION, OR INSECT VENOM ALLERGIC SYMPTOMS

Children who suffer from allergies to food, medicine or insect venom may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Stomachache
  • Watery, Itchy, or swollen eyes
  • Hives
  • Red spots with different sizes
  • Swelling
  • Anaphylaxis (emergency)

HOW TO HELP CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES?

There are many ways to protect them from different allergies according to the causative agent as:

  1. Pollen allergy:
  • Keep windows closed in your kids` bedroom or in the car, use AC on recirculate.
  • Remind them to wear sunglasses outdoors to protect their eyes from pollen.
  • Bathe your child before bedtime to remove any suspended pollen on their hair and skin.
  • try to keep your child indoors when pollen counts are of high percentage especially in spring.
  • Try saline nasal drops or spray to wash out pollen and to loosen dried mucus.
  1. Dust mite allergy
  • Use dust‐mite proof covers for pillows and mattresses.
  • Use very hot water in washing bedding once a week.
  • Wash soft toys from the bedroom and wash them using very hot water once per week.
  • If possible, consider replacing carpet with hard flooring like tiles, wood, or linoleum.

ANTIHISTAMINES

An antihistamine will help relieving the symptoms of hay fever allergies.

An oral liquid antihistamine like Levohistam® is recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 11, also drops are available for infants from 6 months to 2 years old, and they provide rapid‐acting non‐drowsy relief from all allergic symptoms like sneezing, itchy and runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and itchy throat.

Contact your healthcare professional if your child allergy becomes worse or remains for more than 2 days after treatment with antihistamine.