Does my child have an allergy?
What is an allergy?
When a baby has an allergic reaction, it’s the result of an inappropriate response
by his immune system. Parents often do not realize that symptoms such as runny
nose, rash, upset stomach, or crankiness can signal an allergy.
The immune system is programmed to fight off illness, but sometimes it reacts to
a harmless substance like pollen, as if it were an invading parasite, virus, or
bacteria. This overproduction causes swelling and inflammation of tissues.
What is a food allergy?
When kids are allergic to food, their body treats the food like an invader and
launches an immune system attack. In some cases symptoms usually show up
within minutes to two hours after eating a specific food. You child may complain
that her mouth or tongue is dry or mouth is tingling, itching or burning or her
mouth just feels funny. Her ears may itch, develop hives or she may have trouble
We will concentrate on baby allergies in this blog:
The tendency to get allergies is hereditary, but specific allergies are not. For
example, if you are allergic to penicillin, your child may develop allergies although
he may not be allergic to penicillin.
Can you tell the difference between an allergy and a cold? Symptoms are similar
on the surface but here are the differences.
Cold: Upper Respiratory Tract = runny nose with cloudy nasal discharge, fever.
Lower Respiratory Tract= coughing and wheezing (whistling sound)
sometime symptoms of asthma
Allergy: Prone to respiratory viruses and have trouble getting rid of coughs or
colds. Dry hacking cough and wheezing. If he seems uncomfortable with
breathing, call your doctor immediately.
Eyes: Conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, is a condition caused by both allergies and
viruses. Symptoms are a red eye and discharge that causes the eye to
crust and shut. Allergic conjunctivitis does not look very different from
pinkeye but babies with the allergy will rub their eyes frequently, tear
and have dark circles under the eye.
Skin: Allergic rashes tend to appear in infants at 3 -4 months. Most common
allergic rash is atopic dermatitis, or eczema. Eczema is a red, scaly and
sometimes oozing rash found on cheeks, torso, arms and legs.
Contact dermatitis an allergic rash caused by a reaction to soap, detergent,
wool clothing, poison ivy or another irritant that has touched to body.
Behavior: Problems with eating, sleeping or irritability can result from allergies.
Your allergic baby will be fussy and uncomfortable. This is usually due to
chronic congestion, abdominal pain, or itchy skin, eyes or nose.
Our next blog will concentrate on food allergies.
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