When it comes to kids, it’s hard to tell what might be a case of the sniffles versus an allergy. Allergies are a widespread condition, affecting over 50 million Americans, and identifying them early on in kids is important. Dr. Sean Flynn, the pediatrician at Step by Step Pediatrics, PC in Bloomfield, New Jersey can help you with detecting and managing your child’s allergies so that they don’t hamper their daily activities.
Quite simply, an allergy is a damaging immune response to a substance called an allergen. What’s not so simple are the many ways in which allergic reactions manifest themselves, as well as the sheer number of things a person can be allergic to.
With children, it’s important to identify and diagnose allergies early, so that you can learn how to minimize their impact on your child’s life, as well as your own.
The first signs that your child may have allergies will be outward symptoms, such as:
Each of these symptoms could signal an allergy, which can be categorized under the following:
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
Hay fever is the most common manifestation of allergies, yet it has nothing at all to do with either hay or a fever. Hay fever is usually a reaction to outdoor allergens such as pollen, molds, and spores, and is usually seasonal. Hay fever is characterized by:
As many as six million kids in the United States have a food allergy, which can range from mild to severe. The most common food allergies are to milk, peanuts, eggs, and shellfish. Many children outgrow food allergies, but some allergies may last a lifetime. The most common symptoms of food allergies are:
A reaction that causes problems in your child’s airways, affecting their ability to breathe.
Most insect stings cause allergic reactions, but for patients with an allergy toward the venom, the reaction can be much worse and include:
Dr. Flynn may a blood test to confirm an allergy before starting treatment. Once confirmed, it’s important to note that allergies can’t be cured, but their impact can be decreased quite a bit by taking a few simple measures:
Epinephrine pen: Used for kids who have severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis