Allergic reactions may be triggered in response to pollen grains, insects like mites and cockroaches, pet dander, as well as food products like milk, nuts, etc. The following HealthHearty article describes the symptoms of such allergies in children.
An allergy is the result of an overactive immune system, that launches a full-fledged attack on a simple substance. This simple substance is termed allergen, and is usually harmless. The immune system produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies against the allergens. These IgE antibodies stimulate mast cells and basophils to release chemicals like histamine, as a defense mechanism against the allergen. Such an immune reaction causes allergic symptoms whenever the child is exposed to the allergen.
Types of Allergens
Allergies in children can be caused by dust mites, the tiny microscopic insects that feed on the dead skin cells and are present all around us. Pollen grains are the second most common cause of allergies in children. Such allergies are mostly seasonal. Other allergens include fungi and fungal derivatives, pet dander as well as dairy, grains, nuts, and other food products. Cockroaches too can cause allergies.
Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
Before we go into the specific allergy symptoms, let us have a look at some of the common symptoms.
- Red, watery eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Allergic shiners (rings under the eyes)
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Allergic salute (rubbing the nose upwards)
- General fatigue
- Sore throat
There are many cases of allergic reactions against tree nuts, seafood, shellfish, soybeans, and wheat. Almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and cashew allergies, etc., may lead to food allergies, and may lead to serious consequences. Some of the associated symptoms are as follows.
- Itching in mouth and throat
- Eczematous rash
- Itchy, runny nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Breathing difficulty
- Anaphylactic shock
Many kids are allergic to certain constituents of milk, and hence dairy products like cheese, yogurt, ice creams, etc. Such milk allergy i often mistaken as lactose intolerance, which refers to the inability to digest lactose. Most of the time, the symptoms appear after two hours from consumption, and may last for two days. The infant may become irritated, cry continuously, develop dark circles under the eyes, and throw tantrums. Other symptoms include:
- Skin rash
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, and throat
- Abdominal cramps
- Nasal congestion
- Shortness of breath
Children should be kept away from food and dairy products that trigger their allergic attacks. Seasonal allergy can be kept in control by asking the children to remain indoors during peak pollen time (mid morning, early evening). You can keep the windows closed, use air conditioners, air purifiers, etc., in the house and car. The pediatrician is the best person to advise about the appropriate treatment for your kids.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.