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05 June 2017

Allergy season: What to do when your child’s allergies kick in

Preparation is key when you have a child with allergies, here’s what you need to know and what you need to have in your cupboards.

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Any child can develop an allergy, and parents who themselves have allergies know that proper management of the symptoms can make life much easier. 
Anaphylaxis is the most serious allergic response and is life-threatening, but fortunately also quite rare.  

Generally the symptoms of allergy affect many children daily and can negatively affect a child’s life, for example children with a persistent runny or blocked nose may then suffer from headaches, disturbed sleep, and a lack of concentration at school. 

The most common causes of childhood allergies include:
• Tree/grass pollen
• Dust mites 
• Cat/dog/horse/rabbit fur and hair
• Certain foods
• Some medicines
• Certain insect stings

The earlier you can identify what your child is allergic to the sooner you will be able to try prevent excessive exposure to that particular allergen. 

You can try to minimise exposure as much as possible with the following: 
• Keep your child indoors and the windows closed on windy days in pollen season 
• Keep the house clean and dry to reduce mould and dust mites
• Avoid pets 
• Avoid indoor plants
• Avoid smokers anywhere near your child

However, it is virtually impossible to completely avoid any exposure as allergens exist everywhere and at some point your child will have a reaction. Knowing the symptoms can mean you can treat it as quickly as possible. 

Depending on the allergy, symptoms can include: 
• Skin rash
• Headache
• Sneezing
• Runny nose
• Swelling
• Anaphylaxis – this is the most extreme reaction and is life-threatening.

Anaphylaxis needs to be treated immediately and most doctors prescribe parents of children with a life-threatening allergy which could result in anaphylaxis an epinephrine auto-injector.  When the child has an allergic reaction, it is injected into the thigh administering epinephrine to ease the allergic reaction.

For children who have non-life-threatening allergies the treatments for allergy more straightforward. 

Commonly prescribed treatments include:
• Antihistamines
• Moisturising creams
• Steroids
• Antibiotics
• Immunotherapy

As there is no cure for an allergy yet, these medications merely control the symptoms of allergy. 


This article is provided through a sponsorship from Pfizer in the interests of continuous medical education. Notwithstanding Pfizer's sponsorship of this publication, neither Pfizer nor its subsidiary or affiliated companies shall be liable for any damages, claims, liabilities, costs or obligations arising from the misuse of the information provided in this publication. 
Readers are advised to consult their health care practitioner for specific information on personal health matters as this is not the intention or purpose of the publication. Specific medical advice or recommendations on the clinical management of patients will not be provided by Pfizer. In this regard Pfizer does not support the use of products for off label indications, nor dosing which falls outside the approved label recommendations and readers must refer to the Package Insert of any product for full prescribing guidelines.


References:
https://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-in-children/spotting-symptoms-in-a-child
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/allergies-asthma/Pages/Allergy-Causes.aspx
http://acaai.org/allergies/symptoms
http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/allergy.html



 


 
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