Allergic reactions can be scary, especially if it happens to your child. As a parent, you want to take your child’s place when bad things happen. It is hard for children to say when something is wrong, especially when they are very young. You as a parent have to pay attention to their symptoms. When you are a newborn, there is no way to tell if you are allergic to something. The only way to tell is through exposure to an allergen. Allergens come in contact with the body in many different ways and can cause many different reactions. Knowing the symptoms of an allergic reaction and understanding the things that may cause a reaction can help make you aware of symptoms in your child.
Allergies are an immune response to an allergen. If the body recognizes something in the body as harmful, it begins to attack it. When you get sick, your body is attacking the virus and bacteria causing the sickness. The problem with allergens is that they are not harmful. Your body just thinks that they are and begins to attack it. Allergic reactions are different for everybody. Some reactions are mild, and others are severe and life-threatening. Understanding the things that may cause a reaction can help you protect your child.
Sources of Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions can happen as a result of eating something, inhaling something, or touching something. Seasonal or environmental allergies come from the inhalation of things like pollen, dust, and ragweed. If you have a pet, you have to be careful because pet dander may cause an allergic reaction in your child. During certain seasons of the year, the environmental allergens increase. So be careful to pay attention to how your child reacts outside during allergy season. A newborn only drinks milk, but as they grow, they become exposed to other foods that they may be an allergen. Some babies are allergic to the milk which is evident in their inability to keep it down and their lack of growth. Trying new foods like eggs and peanut butter should be done with caution. These two foods are common sources of allergens. Everyone is allergic to poison ivy, and many people are allergic to grass as well. If your child has eczema, it could be a sign of sensitive skin, and you have to be careful about the products you put on their skin. Exposure to things that is scented or has dye can create an allergic reaction on the skin.
There is not just one type of allergic reaction. They body reacts in many different ways and a lot of times it is dependent upon the source of the allergen. If you inhale an allergen, you will notice itching, sneezing, and maybe watery eyes. Your child may complain of a scratchy throat and start to feel really bad. If your child has asthma, you have to be particularly careful with environmental allergens because they can affect your child’s asthma and possibly cause an attack. Reactions to food have a major effect on your digestive system. Some children have excessive diarrhea or vomiting; this can cause a failure to thrive, especially in newborns. If you notice your child is unable to drink the milk you give them, you may have to try a new formula. When trying new foods, you may notice the development of hives or fever. You should seek medical attention immediately if you see those things. Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction your child can have. Anaphylaxis results in rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, and in some cases hives and choking. Anaphylaxis especially is life threatening and needs immediate medical attention.
Prevention and Treatment
When you have an allergic reaction, medicine can sometimes help take care of it. When your child has a reaction, it is best to go to a doctor. Getting a dosing chart for medicines like Benadryl is good. Benadryl can help as well as children’s Claritin when your child suffers from environmental allergies. If your child has severe food allergies, they may have to carry an EpiPen with them. The EpiPen stops the reaction in its tracks and gives you enough time to get to a hospital where your child can get the care they need. Children have to keep an EpiPen at school and one at home. If you are allergic to certain substances like dyes and scents, you should try to avoid those things altogether. Sometimes it is hard to prevent environmental allergens, but if you take the medicine before exposure, it can help. Stay away from all foods that cause allergic reactions. Sometimes the best prevention is avoidance.
Allergic reactions are very scary as a parent knows. No one wants to see their child suffer from any reaction at all. You have to be cautious about the foods you try with your child. Keep it in small doses and pay attention to how your child reacts to it. Some children are not allergic to anything, and others are allergic to a lot of things. It is best to talk with a pediatrician about how to proceed and prevent future reactions in your child. Sometimes little things make a big difference.
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