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
• Runny nose
• 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:
• Moisturising creams
As there is no cure for an allergy yet, these medications merely control the symptoms of allergy.
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