Allergies are very common, especially in children. Many kids start displaying signs of seasonal or food allergies early in life, indicating an over-responsive immune system. Diagnosing and treating an allergy early can make a big difference in a child’s life as they grow.

Pediatricians monitor their patients for signs of allergies. Parents also need to be vigilant for any signs of reactions to harmless substances or specific foods. In some cases, these reactions can worsen and become life-threatening, so it’s important to take allergies seriously and watch for reactions.

Common Food Allergies and Their Symptoms

Food allergies are some of the most common allergies children develop. Around 7.6% of children have these allergies, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The top childhood food allergies are:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Shellfish

Sometimes, children outgrow allergies, especially allergies to eggs and milk. However, other allergies are likely to stick around into adulthood. Parents of children with food allergies have to be extremely careful about the potential for cross-contamination. Food allergies can increase in severity, sometimes leading to anaphylactic reactions, which are life-threatening.

Other Common Allergies to Watch For

Other allergies can also emerge during childhood. Pediatricians and parents need to be on the lookout for skin problems like eczema or hives, as these issues can indicate immune system problems and allergies.

There are many different types of allergies, so it’s important to be on the lookout for symptoms like watery eyes, rash, congestion, respiratory issues, and digestive problems that don’t resolve quickly. Many allergy symptoms are similar to those caused by colds or other minor health issues that will pass on their own.

Kids can become allergic to pet dander, different kinds of pollen, bee stings, dust mites, and more. Rarer allergies can be more difficult to diagnose, which is why pediatricians and families must work closely together when signs of allergies are detected.

Assessing a Child’s Health & Vital Signs

Pediatricians are responsible for assessing and treating every aspect of a child’s health. Every visit should start with an assessment and recording the child’s vital signs. Over time, this data can help in monitoring any health problems that may come up, including allergies.

Vital signs charts are very important for young patients, especially those who are non-verbal. A very young child may not be able to tell their doctor what’s wrong, but a history of vital signs, including respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, can be extremely helpful in making a diagnosis.

Preventing Allergic Reactions

Managing allergy symptoms can be tough, especially if you’re still in the process of figuring out what your child is reacting to in their environment. If they have seasonal allergies, you will likely have to balance management with treatment to keep their reactions under control.

Preventing symptoms will depend on the allergy. If a child is allergic to certain foods, avoiding those foods is the logical first step. Many families are eventually able to reintroduce some of these foods under the supervision of a pediatrician. Make sure to look out for trace amounts of allergens in food to prevent any surprise reactions.

For respiratory allergens, you may need to vacuum and clean more frequently. Dust mites and pet dander are some of the most common culprits found in the home. Keeping pets might not be possible, depending on the severity of the allergy.

Symptom Management

A pediatrician may recommend allergy medication for some children, although these medications can also cause side effects like drowsiness. Home remedies can sometimes help provide relief.

Children with allergies should get plenty of sleep and fluids. Steam or cold compresses can sometimes help for uncomfortable allergy symptoms as well. Your child’s doctor should have recommendations for you so you can manage their comfort level.

Allergies can be scary and frustrating. In our discussion with experienced Dallas pediatricians, we learned that it’s hard to see your child feeling poorly, especially if you are having trouble getting to the bottom of their symptoms. Parents and pediatricians need to advocate for children with allergies and work together on diagnosis and management.

Remember, reactions can escalate. It’s always better to tell the doctor about any symptoms that could indicate allergies sooner rather than later. It could save your child’s life!

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Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries including health and wellness, wearable technology, nursing, and education. She implements her wellness and education knowledge into every aspect of her life, including her position as a yoga instructor and raising her two children. When she's not watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practising yoga and reading a good book on the beach.

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