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4 Common Allergies in Children and How to Manage Them

4 Common Allergies in Children and How to Manage Them

Our team at Southfield Pediatrics in Bingham Farms and Novi, Michigan, provides comprehensive pediatric care for infants, children, and teens. One of our many specialties is diagnosing and treating allergies and asthma.

Along with providing outstanding medical care, our team is committed to helping parents navigate the complexities of childhood. We’re happy to provide information about the four most common childhood allergies and how to manage them.  

1. Food allergies

Food allergies are among the most prevalent types of allergies in children. Common triggers include peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish.

Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include itching, hives, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other digestive complaints. These symptoms usually develop within minutes of consuming the allergen but can occur hours later.

Allergies, including those to food, can also cause a severe reaction (anaphylaxis), which is life-threatening. Symptoms include swelling of the lips and throat, difficulty breathing, confusion, and a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

If you suspect even a hint of anaphylaxis, you must seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

Food allergy management includes:

Identifying and avoiding trigger foods

We recommend keeping a food diary to track what your child eats and any reactions. This can help pinpoint trigger foods.

Educating caregivers

Ensure that teachers, coaches, caregivers, and family members know your child's allergies and understand how to recognize and respond to an allergic reaction. To ensure safety, we recommend this regardless of which type of allergy your child develops.

Educating your child

Use age-appropriate lessons to teach your child about allergies, symptoms, and foods they must avoid. Ensure they learn to read food labels carefully and avoid products that contain allergens.

Keeping medications on hand

Always have emergency medications, such as epinephrine auto-injectors, readily available at school, sporting events, social activities, and at home in case of a severe allergic reaction.  

2. Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)

Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, has numerous potential triggers, including pollen from trees, weeds, grasses and flowers, dust mites, mold, and pet dander. Symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and coughing.

Tips for managing allergic rhinitis include:

Depending on your child’s symptoms, your Southfield Pediatrics specialist may recommend oral medications or immunotherapy (allergy shots) to help manage these types of allergies.

3. Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, inflamed, and itchy skin. Certain foods, pet dander, pollen, some fabrics (e.g., wool), soap, fabric softeners, and cleaning products can trigger eczema flare-ups in children.

Try these tips to manage eczema:

We also recommend scheduling a visit at Southfield Pediatrics for an accurate diagnosis and treatment that may include prescription creams or ointments.

4. Allergy-induced asthma

Allergy-induced asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.

Notably, children with seasonal allergies and eczema frequently develop allergy-induced asthma. Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold can trigger an asthma attack.

Managing allergy-induced asthma includes working with your child’s pediatrician to develop a personalized asthma action plan outlining medication use, symptom management, and emergency procedures.

As with other allergies, effective treatment starts with identifying and minimizing exposure to asthma triggers. It’s also essential that your child uses their medication as directed, which may include a fast-acting rescue inhaler and daily controller medication.

We’re here to help you overcome the challenges of childhood allergies! Schedule a visit at Southfield Pediatrics today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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