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
∙ Stomach ache
∙ Itchy watery and swollen eyes
∙ Swollen lips
∙ Rashes in the skin
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:
∙ Tree nuts
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
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.