If your little bundle of joy has a rash or dry skin, allergy could be the reason. Allergies in babies and toddlers may range from a little rash to belly pain or a cough. An allergy is an immune reaction to an allergen, which could be food or a substance in the environment. When an allergic child comes into contact with an allergen, their body may mistake it as an invader, resulting in the production of histamine to fight off the trigger. As a result, these chemicals irritate the body and cause reactions in the form of allergy symptoms.
Causes of Allergies in Babies and Toddlers
Does your child sneeze or cough too much?
Does your kid frequently develop a rash or hive?
Or do you often find your baby suffering from nausea, stomachache, or cramps after eating certain foods?
If your answer is “yes” to any or all of these questions, your child is probably suffering from an allergy.
Allergy in children may be triggered by:
- Food, primarily dairy products, peanuts, eggs, nuts, soy, seafood
- Pollen, insect bites or stings
- Dust mites, fur, mold
- Cigarette smoke
- Pet or animal hair
- Car exhaust
Early identification of childhood allergy triggers will help improve your kid’s quality of life.
Some of the common symptoms of allergies in babies and toddlers include:
- Upset stomach
- Breathing problems
- Skin rashes or hives
- Itchy eyes
- Sneezing, runny nose
While food allergies in children are the most common, some kids also suffer from allergy from pet dander and environmental triggers. Allergy symptoms may be mild or severe, depending on the child’s exposure to the allergen.
In severe cases of an allergy in babies and toddlers, an allergen can result in a severe reaction, causing breathing problems. This is a medical emergency that can be life threatening.
The most common symptoms of food allergies in babies include:
- Belly pain
- Hives or rash
- Tightness in throat
- Breathing problem
- Red rash around the mouth
- Swelling of the face
- Sharp drop in blood pressure
Some food allergies in toddlers can cause serious symptoms.
Seasonal Allergies in Babies
Does your little one show worsened symptoms during specific seasons? Does he show symptoms of sniffling, sneezing, or hay fever? Pollen from trees is often of the most common allergy triggers in kids. Such children start to show allergy symptoms when some grasses, trees, or weeds are in full bloom.
- Stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Runny, itchy nose
- Ear pain/ear infection
Sometimes stuffed toys or pillows may be a cause of allergy in some kids, as dust mites may collect in them. Little specks of dust may worsen allergy symptoms. Statistics reveal that 1 in every 6 children suffers from an indoor allergy symptom.
Pet Allergies in Babies and Toddlers
Your cuddly pet may be a cause of discomfort for your toddler, making them sniffle and sneeze. Some kids are prone to allergy from cats. If your baby is allergic to a dog or cat, it is time to go for an allergy-friendly pet.
Diagnosing Allergies in Babies and Toddlers
If you suspect allergy to be the cause of your child’s health issues, you may want to keep a diary to keep notes of your little one’s symptoms. Check back with the doctor to determine the cause of allergy and how to treat it.
The doctor or allergist may ask about your kid’s allergy symptoms and family health history.
If your baby is having trouble breathing, it can be a dangerous indication, especially if the breathing is noisier and he’s flaring his nostrils to breathe. Your child needs immediate medical attention.
Your child may be suffering from conjunctivitis or pinkeye from allergy or viral infection. A red eye and discharge that causes the eye to be crusted shut in the morning. Allergic conjunctivitis symptoms are similar to that of pinkeye. Babies with allergies may frequently rub their itchy eyes, tear excessively, and have dark circles.
Rashes are common allergy symptoms in newborns. Eczema, which is in the form of a red oozing rash on the baby’s arms, torso, cheeks, or legs, is the first warning sign of allergy in an infant. However, the allergy may be in the form of itchy skin patches on the wrists, ankles, elbow, or neck of toddlers and older children.
Allergy from food or any other trigger can cause stomach problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and gassiness. Stomach ailments are common in children with environmental allergies.
Another behavioral symptom of allergy in toddlers includes eating, sleeping problems. An allergic baby is usually uncomfortable and fussy because of abdominal pain, chronic congestion, or itchy skin.
Treatment for Allergy Symptoms in Babies and Toddlers
If allergy runs in your family, then your baby is at a high risk of suffering from the same. Take steps to keep your child away from those triggers.
The doctor may prescribe oral antihistamines and skin moisturizers for allergic rashes.
- Vacuum regularly.
- Change air duct filters every month.
- Use allergen-proof covers for pillows and mattresses.
- Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Wash linens regularly in hot water.
- Avoid vaporizers and humidifiers, which may increase the risk of mold and mites.
- Put soft toys in the freezer covered in a plastic, sealable bag for a few hours per week to kill dust mites.
- Refrain from smoking in your home.
- Keep your home free from pets if your little one is allergic to animal dander.
- Breastfeed your infant for the first six months of their life to avoid food allergy symptoms.
- Keep inhalers handy if your little one shows signs of breathing problems.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com