Childhood allergies are a very common problem for many children and their families. Allergies can cause a range of symptoms from mild to severe, making it important for parents to understand what causes them, what types of allergies can affect their children, and whether these allergies will go away over time.
In this article, we will explore the different types of childhood allergies, what causes them, and how parents can help their children manage their allergies.
What are childhood allergies?
Childhood allergies are quite common. An Indian study reported that the prevalence of allergic rhinitis, eczema and asthma in children between ages of 6 years to 14 years is quite significant.
Allergies can be triggered by a variety of substances, including pollen, food, mold, and pet dander. The reactions that occur when a child is exposed to an allergen can vary from mild to severe and even life-threatening.
When a child has an allergic reaction, their body mistakenly identifies the allergen as a threat and releases antibodies to fight it off.
This causes the production of histamine, which can result in symptoms like sneezing, congestion, coughing, itching, and difficulty breathing.
In severe cases, it can also cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction that can be fatal if not treated immediately.
It’s important for parents to be aware of what allergies their children may have and how to help manage them. Knowing the common childhood allergies can also help parents to be better prepared in case of an emergency.
Do they go away?
Childhood allergies can be a major concern for parents, but the good news is that many of these allergies can be outgrown. Although not all allergies will disappear, it is possible for children to outgrow their allergies over time.
The ability to outgrow an allergy depends on the type of allergy and its severity. For instance, children who have food allergies may outgrow them more quickly than those who have environmental allergies.
Common childhood allergies such as hay fever, asthma, and eczema may take longer to outgrow and may require medical treatment in order to reduce the severity of the symptoms.
When it comes to food allergies, children can often outgrow them within a few years. In some cases, children may even experience desensitization therapy which helps to reduce the symptoms of the allergy or make them go away completely.
When it comes to environmental allergies such as dust mites, pets, or pollen, the likelihood of a child outgrowing these types of allergies is much lower. However, there are treatments available to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and manage the allergy.
If your child has an allergy, it is important to talk to your doctor about the best course of action for your child’s individual situation.
Causes of childhood allergies
Childhood allergies can be caused by a variety of environmental factors and the immune system’s reaction to them. While it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an allergy, there are some common triggers that can lead to a child’s allergic reaction.
One of the most common causes of childhood allergies is exposure to dust mites. These microscopic creatures live in household dust, feed on skin flakes and dander, and can trigger a range of symptoms in those with allergies. Other common causes include pollen, pet dander, mold, and certain types of food.
In some cases, childhood allergies are inherited from parents who have allergies themselves. In other cases, the body’s immune system may become overly sensitive to harmless substances as a result of overexposure. This can be caused by living in a home or environment with high levels of allergens or taking certain medications that suppress the immune system.
It is important to note that some allergies, such as those caused by food or medications, may not show any symptoms until the allergen has been ingested. For this reason, it is important to talk to your doctor if you suspect your child may have an allergy so they can receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Allergies children can have
Children can have a range of allergies, from food and pet allergies to hay fever. Below is a list of the most common allergies that children can suffer from:
- Tree and grass pollen (hay fever): Hay fever is one of the most common allergies in children, which is caused by exposure to pollens from trees and grasses. Symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes and/or throat, and a skin rash.
- House dust mites: These tiny insects are present in almost every home. Symptoms of house dust mite allergy include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, asthma, and a skin rash.
- Foods such as peanuts, milk and eggs (food allergy): Food allergies can cause anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that requires urgent medical attention. Symptoms of food allergies include itching and swelling in the mouth, hives or a rash, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Animal fur, particularly from pets like cats and dogs: Allergies to animal fur can cause sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, asthma, and a skin rash.
- Insect stings, such as bee and wasp stings: Stings from insects such as bees and wasps can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include swelling, itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.
- Certain medicines: Allergic reactions to medications can occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to the drug. Symptoms may include itching, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
It is important to remember that the best way to diagnose allergies is through an allergy test performed by a doctor. Once your child is diagnosed with an allergy, the doctor will be able to recommend treatments or lifestyle changes to reduce their symptoms.
As a parent, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with allergies in children. Allergies can range from mild to severe and can cause significant discomfort and even health complications if not properly managed.
It is important to educate yourself on the different types of allergies that can affect children and to be aware of the symptoms so that you can take the necessary steps to treat or prevent them.
If you suspect your child may be suffering from allergies, and are in search of a paediatrician in Mumbai (we are close to patients living in Prabhadevi / Lower Parel / Worli / Dadar), get in touch with us for proper diagnosis and treatment. With the right knowledge and care, you can help ensure your child’s health and well-being.