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Allergies

Sean A. Flynn, MD, FAAP -  - Pediatrician

Step By Step Pediatrics, PC

Sean A. Flynn, MD, FAAP

Pediatrician located in Bloomfield, NJ

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.

Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

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.

What are the symptoms of allergies in children?

The first signs that your child may have allergies will be outward symptoms, such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny Nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Congestion
  • Upset Stomach
  • Rash
  • Hives

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:

  • Runny/itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Postnasal drip and congestion
  • Watery eyes
  • Earaches

Food allergies
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:

  • Upset stomach
  • Hives/rash
  • Anaphylaxis in extreme cases

Asthma
A reaction that causes problems in your child’s airways, affecting their ability to breathe.

Insect allergies
Most insect stings cause allergic reactions, but for patients with an allergy toward the venom, the reaction can be much worse and include:

  • Pain
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Flushing
  • Anaphylaxis

What are the treatments for allergies in children?

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:


  • Avoidance: Staying away from triggers, such as certain foods
  • Cleaner air: Air purification systems in your home go a long way toward eliminating allergens
  • Inhalers: On the spot treatment for airway reactions
  • Medications: Several medications can alleviate symptoms

Epinephrine pen: Used for kids who have severe allergic reactions like anaphylaxis