Allergic Reactions in Children

Allergic Reactions in Children Questions and Answers

If you are looking for treatment of allergic reactions for your child, then Olivero Pediatrics in Port Matilda, PA is the right place, where our kind pediatricians are experts in treating allergic reactions. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online.

Allergic Reactions in Children Near Me in Port Matilda, PA
Allergic Reactions in Children Near Me in Port Matilda, PA

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), allergies and allergic reactions in children have grown significantly in recent years and affect up to 35% of children in the U.S. today.  Research is being carried out to establish how genetics and environmental factors impact the growing child’s immune system, and what role they play in the development of childhood allergies, but at present the best approach is for parents and caregivers to recognise the signs and minimize the risks. 

What Are Different Types of Allergies in Children?

Peanuts and milk are the most common allergies in children; other frequently seen food triggers include eggs, fish, shellfish (crab, lobster, crayfish and shrimp), soy, tree nuts (pecans, cashews and walnuts) and wheat.  Other allergens include:

  • Airborne irritants – such as cigarette and wood smoke
  • Pollens
  • Mould
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Insect stings
  • Latex
  • Medications or drugs

What Are The Main Symptoms Of An Allergic Reaction?

The symptoms of an allergic reaction vary from child to child and can range from mild to severe. 

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction include:

  • hives
  • rash
  • itching
  • allergic rhinitis (hay fever), which may lead to nasal congestion or sneezing
  • scratchy throat
  • watery or itchy eyes

Severe allergic reactions are more common with foods, insect stings, and medications and can cause the following symptoms:

  • abdominal cramping or pain
  • diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pain or tightness in the chest
  • difficulty swallowing
  • wheezing and/or difficulty breathing
  • fear or anxiety
  • heart palpitation
  • flushing and/or swelling of the face
  • swelling of the eyes or tongue
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • weakness
  • unconsciousness

A sudden and severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can develop just seconds after exposure and can result in life threatening symptoms, such as:

  • swelling of the airway
  • an inability to breathe
  • a sudden, drastic drop in blood pressure

Without emergency treatment, anaphylaxis can result in death.

How Do You Know If Your Child Is Having an Allergic Reaction?

Children will typically exhibit the symptoms shown above, however sometimes young children don’t always know what’s going on or can’t explain their symptoms, which means that the parents sometimes have to play detective and work out what’s happening.  An initial sign that something may be wrong, even before symptoms such as hives, coughing or vomiting develop, may be a change in their demeanor.  In the case of a reaction to a food allergen the young child or baby may refuse to eat any more of the food after the first few bites.  Another sign that your child could be having an allergic reaction is if they say things like:

  • “There’s something in my throat.”
  • “My tongue has gotten too big.”
  • “My mouth is itchy.”

What Should You Do When A Child Is Having an Allergic Reaction?

Most parents won’t know if their child has an allergy (or allergies) until they try a food or are exposed to inhaled allergens for the first time, so it is very important for parents and other caregivers such as teachers and babysitters to know the warning signs.  When having an allergic reaction, the child’s symptoms will be focused on certain areas of the body – the skin, the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal tract – and treatment will depend on how widespread and severe the symptoms are.  If the symptoms are mild, giving an oral antihistamine (such as Benadryl) may be sufficient, but if there is anything more concerning call a doctor or 911 straight away, or take the child to the nearest urgent care or emergency facility.

If you would like to know more about allergies and allergic reactions in children, contact Olivero Pediatrics today!  Dr. Daniel Olivero, M.D. and his team serve newborns to children up to 21 years and we are here to help you and your child in every kind of situation. We are conveniently located at 1243 Skytop Mountain Rd. Suite 4, Port Matilda, PA 16870. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online. We serve patients from Port Matilda PA, Waddle, PA, Julian PA, State College PA, Bellefonte PA, Pennsylvania Furnace PA, and Pine Grove Mills PA.