Treatment / What you should do If you suspect that your child may have allergies
If you suspect that your child may have allergies, you should talk with a doctor, who may be able to diagnose allergies by examining your child and reviewing his/her symptoms and medical history. In some cases, the doctor may order some blood or skin tests on the child to make a diagnosis of allergy. Sometimes allergists, doctors who specialize in allergies, will do these studies.
If there are signs of asthma, lung function testing might also be appropriate.
The best treatment for allergies is to avoid the thing that the child has an allergic reaction to in the first place.
Often it is not possible to avoid something completely, but you can take a number of measures to reduce the child’s exposure.
When symptoms persist despite these measures, various allergy medications are available.
For example, some antihistamines block the immune system from releasing histamine into the blood, stopping allergic reactions before they start or slow them down once they have begun.
Steroids work to decrease the inflammation caused by the immune reaction. These medications can be in the form of nasal sprays, eye drops, and pills or liquids taken by mouth (oral).
Allergy shots, injecting tiny doses of an allergen, are helpful for some patients with allergies.
This results in the production of antibodies against the allergen, preventing severe allergic reactions in the future. Children who have previously had an anaphylactic or serious allergic reaction should carry a dose of epinephrine that can be injected by the child or by his/her parents in case of an allergic reaction.
Epinephrine is a hormone that helps to open up the airways to improve breathing, improves blood pressure, and decreases the allergic reaction. Whenever this medication is used, the child should be taken to an Emergency Department immediately.
If it is impossible to completely avoid the substance to which the child is allergic, it is important to minimize how much exposure to the allergen a child has.
In known cases of allergy to house dust mites, wall-to-wall carpets, curtains, and stuffed animals should be avoided in the child’s bedroom.
Use special allergy covers for pillows and mattresses.
Clear away toys and store them in a cupboard so that they do not gather dust.
Clean all rooms in the house regularly.
Children with allergies to dogs or cats should not have these pets indoors. In addition, keep the child away from such animals when the child is visiting friends and family. Be sure to tell all relatives, friends and the child’s school if the child is allergic to certain foods, so that the child is not offered such foods. This is especially important when the allergic food is peanuts.
Children allergic to pollen should not sleep with bedroom windows open during the pollen season.
Air conditioning can be helpful during summer allergy season.
They should shower and wash their hair before bedtime to remove as much pollen as possible from their bodies.
Keep all children with known allergies away from cigarette smoke, as this can worsen the child’s allergy symptoms.