How to know if your child is allergic to something

Every sneeze during the Covid-19 time got me worried and frustrated. Recently, my toddler had an episode of a runny nose that gave me the chills. When we took him to the doctor, we were told that my child was probably allergic to dust. 

Since my husband is also allergic to dust, we knew what to do. We took the needed precautions, giving the house a deep clean, washed the curtains, sun dried the carpets and put away the stuffed toys. We even cleaned out the air conditioner filters. All this gave a relief to my child and his symptoms disappeared in a few days. 

The key to treating an allergic episode lies in recognizing it early. Hence, as parents we must be aware of allergy symptoms.

Why does a child develop allergies?

An allergy is the body’s exaggerated immune response to an otherwise harmless substance. This substance is termed the allergen. This reaction occurs when the allergen is contacted, inhaled, or consumed. The basic function of the immune system is to defend the body against any substances it detects to be foreign and unsuitable to the body’s composition. Sometimes this response is faulty and exaggerated. The same thing that protects the child also ends up harming his health inadvertently. There is no real explanation of why this happens though we have made much progress in understanding how allergies work. A child born in a family with a history of allergies both maternal and paternal may be at a high risk to inherit the same. 

What are the kinds of allergies?

I wanted to understand what are the different types of allergies that a child can get. This is essential for us as parents to pick out if our child is suffering.  How to know if you are allergic to something in India? 

The most common type of allergies is respiratory allergies. Then there are skin and food allergies in children. A few allergies are seasonal and occur at specific times of the year (eg pollen allergy). Some allergic reactions occur due to direct contact (eg latex allergy). Food allergies too are seen in children.

How to recognize if your child has an allergy?

Though the appearance and severity of the symptoms differ from person to person depending on their immune makeup, there are a few common signs and symptoms to look out for and diagnose an allergy.

Airborne allergies (respiratory allergy)

∙         Continuous sneezes

∙         Itchy nose and throat

∙         Blocked nose

∙         Persistent irritant cough

∙         Itchy watery eyes

Food allergies (or medical/insect allergy)

∙         Wheeze or breathing trouble

∙         Coughing

∙         Stomach ache

∙         Vomiting

∙         Diarrhea

∙         Itchy watery and swollen eyes

∙         Swollen lips

∙         Lightheadedness

∙         Rashes in the skin

∙         Eczema 

∙         Hives 

Food allergies

It is important for the parents to know the major foods that can cause an allergic reaction in babies and toddlers.

There are 8 infamous food groups that contribute to allergies in children:

∙         Eggs

∙         Milk

∙         Peanuts

∙         Shellfish

∙         Tree nuts

∙         Soy

∙         Fish

What to do when your child has an allergy?

The first step is to educate oneself on these allergies and also analyze if there is a family history for any and watch out for them. An informed parent is the best gift for a child with allergies. 

If you see discomfort in your child or a manifestation of the allergy symptoms, get a check up done by the pediatrician. 

You would be asked to avoid the allergen (in case of food) or minimise the child’s exposure to the allergen (in case of dust, pollen or pet dander).

If the symptoms are severe, the doctor would prescribe medication that you must give your child without fail. 

Most importantly, keep a pediatric helpline handy in case of emergency.

Know more about allergies and their management here.  #AllergyFree

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi India. Sanofi India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information. 

References:

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/all-about-food-allergies

https://acaai.org/allergies/who-has-allergies/children-allergies

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/allergy.html

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Mayuri6 says:

    Glad to know that you and your husband were prepared to handle the Allergy attack.
    Thanks to your suggestions, we now know how to recognize the symptoms and handle, even prevent, an allergy attack.
    Really helpful post, Dr Arul.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. simritbedi says:

    Thanks for sharing such an informative post on allergies. It is very important to understand the difference among different kinds of allergies and how to tackle them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many different types of Allergy one should be aware and how to manage them. Such informative and detailed blog to stay #AllergyFree

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pythoroshan says:

    Good of you to write on this. This is a question I get asked frequently from young parents. Will share this in our groups.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. earlymomage says:

    Very important to know these thing, thanks for the information. It’s really necessary for us to be prepared for every situation especially with kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this is quite amazing. Thanks for listing down all different types of allergies and also how we can counter them by being cautious and ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Knowing about the allergy triggers help us stay safe from allergies.Thanks for sharing awareness

    Like

  8. Judy Morris says:

    Yes actually food allergies are quite common but we do not know many times. I have heard about peanut allergy being the most common one. Thanks for sharing the other common potential allergens.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is a guide for parents to find out whether their child is allergic to something or not? Thank you for letting me know that allergy can be hereditary and mentioning a way to manage it.

    Like

  10. Atulmaharaj says:

    Insightful read especially for new parents and parents to be.

    Like

  11. delhifundos2014 says:

    Thanks for sharing detailed information about allergies in kids. Every parent should read this article. And yes I found food allergies in my niece and nephew.

    Like

  12. Blogaberry Foo says:

    pretty good information. there are so many crazy allergies that its sometimes difficult to identify what is triggering it. a friend has crazy acne suddenly. will send this link to her.

    Like

  13. Allergies can be very irritating and can pose health risks if taken lightly. Proper medical advice should be taken for some allergies related to skin, nose, eyes, food, etc.

    Like

  14. poseinstyle says:

    This is indeed an interesting and informative article. So much to learn and implement. Necessary precautions should be taken

    Like

  15. Very good information. I do not have kids but I have seen my friends having these questions and wondering if their children are allergic to anything. I will send this article to them.

    Like

  16. Judy Morris says:

    Thanks for the informative article indeed kids catch allergies more than adults. I didnt know that there are so many factors that can cause allergy in kids.

    Like

  17. mummatalks says:

    This is a very detailed and informative post. Thankfully my kids are not allergic but I am still very cautious about maintaining tideness and cleanliness at home and keeping their stuff dust free. I use disinfectants to keep virus n flu at bay and make them bathe in dettol water.

    Like

  18. Mihir Gadhvi says:

    Well, I was not aware of the food that causes allergies. Btw #AllergyFree is a great initiative more power to you

    Like

  19. Tina Basu says:

    This is such an informative post on allergies. I introduce new kinds of food gradually to my son. And within the pandemic I am not even giving new kinds of food to him, worrying about what if he is allergic to it!

    Like

  20. Snigdha says:

    Kids are more prone to allergies than adults .. this post is so so helpful. We sjould keep an eye on different food allergies.

    Like

  21. Abha Mondal says:

    That’s a great and informative article about child allergies. My daughter is allergic to cow milk and now she is on Soy milk.

    Like

  22. Amrit Kaur says:

    This is a well written article that will help all to know symptoms of allergies well in advance.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s