Children with allergies
Allergies are very common in children. It is estimated that up to 40% of children in Australia and New Zealand will be affected by allergies at some point in their lives. The most common allergic conditions are food allergies, eczema (skin allergy), and hayfever1.
Why do children develop allergies?
Children with allergies have an immune system that is overactive. It has at some stage mistakenly identified something harmless, such as dust mites or pollen, as a threat. After exposure to this ‘threat,’ the body tries to defend itself by producing antibodies and substances such as histamine. It’s the excessive production of histamine that causes the symptoms of allergies.
How do I know if my child has allergies?
Allergy symptoms are different for every child. Symptoms in children can be unpredictable and each allergic reaction can differ in severity. An initial mild reaction does not mean that all future reactions will also be mild.
Allergy symptoms from airborne allergens
Allergies caused by airborne allergens such as mould spores, animal dander, dust mites and pollen are very common. They are known as allergic rhinitis and these types of allergies usually develop during childhood and may start to diminish later in life.
Typical symptoms of allergies caused by airborne allergens can include:
- Itchy nose
- Itchy throat
- Blocked nose
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery and/or red eyes – known as allergic conjunctivitis
- Puffy blue tinged skin around the eyes – sometimes known as “allergic shiners”
Allergy symptoms from food, medicine, or insect venom
Children with allergies to food, medicine or insect venom may experience the following symptoms:
- Stomach ache
- Itchy, swollen or watery eyes
- Red spots
Tips to help children with allergies
There are many ways to help ease your child’s symptoms with little disruption to their normal activities.
1. Pollen allergies:
- Keep windows closed in their bedroom and in the car and turn AC on recirculate,
- Have them wear sunglasses outdoors to keep pollen out of their eyes.
- Bathe your child and wash their hair before bedtime to remove any pollen on their hair and skin.
- Check the pollen forecast on the Telfast hayfever meter and try to keep your child indoors when pollen counts are high.
- Try saline nose drops or spray to wash out pollen and loosen dried mucous.
2. Dust mite allergies
- Cover pillows and mattresses with dust‐mite proof covers.
- Wash bedding in very hot water once a week.
- Remove soft toys from the bedroom or at least wash them in very hot water weekly. Consider replacing carpet with hard flooring like wood, tiles, or linoleum if possible.
Give your child a suitable antihistamine to help relieve the symptoms of hayfever allergies.
Telfast Oral Liquid is an oral liquid antihistamine that is recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 11 for hayfever, and provides fast‐acting non‐drowsy relief from sneezing, a runny and itchy nose, itchy and watery eyes and an itchy throat. It is gluten and lactose free and comes in a raspberry flavour that children will love.
Contact your healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns, your child becomes worse, or if your child’s hayfever symptoms are interfering with school or their day to day activities after two days of taking antihistamines.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.
1 Allergy Prevention in Children http://www.paediatrix.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/AER_Allergy_Prevention_in_Children.pdf Accessed May 2019
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