The immune system of children can respond unfavourably to certain substances that are quite harmless for adults. This is because a child’s immune system is not developed enough to differentiate between allergens as harmless or otherwise. It overreacts to these substances and the way it processes is the same as it would to a harmful allergen. The result is release of harmful substances that cause irritation in eyes, skin, lungs, throat or digestive tract.
Some of the things that you should keep in mind about allergy to your kids are:
- Food allergies – The major cause of allergies in kids are eggs, peanuts, milk and wheat. These can cause swelling in lips, tongue and hives. Another possible reaction from allergy can be wheezing just after the child has eaten the food. At times the food reactions are quite subtle and they come with mild asthma or eczema.
- Hereditary allergies – Your child would develop allergic tendencies from you. If parent has hay fever or allergic asthma, the child is more likely to develop it. In case both the parents are allergic, the risk for the child rises to 75 percent.
- Testing for allergy – If food allergy such as those from milk, eggs and peanuts is suspected, you can get your child tested for skin or blood tests at any age. Similarly, for suspected asthma or hay fever, testing can be conducted at any age.
- Over the counter medications – You can give several over the counter medications to your children. On the label of each of these medications, you will find the mention of the age limit of the children for which the medicine is suitable. You should adhere to the age specification and not give the medication to children below the age mentioned there.
- Indoor allergens – Children spent most of their lifetime indoors and that is why the indoor allergens are the common cause of infection in them. The most common of these allergens are moulds, house dust mites and tobacco in the environment. Studies have shown that children living in an environment of house dust mites and moulds go on to have severe allergies later on in their lives.
- Seasonal allergies – Pollen and outdoor mould are some common allergens for children. They cause allergic rhinitis in children. Seasonal allergies develop after the age of 10 and reach their peak after the kid becomes an adult. These allergies may disappear in childhood after one or two years.
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