Handling the Dreaded Allergies

Allergies, when not well managed, can result in serious and even fatal reactions. It is important, then, to be alert for any signs of an allergic reaction. Allergies come about because everyone is different and reacts differently to different things around us. In the same way, babies come uniquely different and while some react, others are quite adaptive to everything around them. Let’s dive deeper to understand what allergies are and their impact on your child’s life. 

Types of Allergies

There are two types of allergies. These are:-

Why Does Your Baby Develop Allergies?

The most common allergens are food-related, perhaps because of our exposure to all sorts of foods. However, this does not make the environmental allergies any less harmful.

Your baby is still new into the world. His body is discovering new things and with every stage of their lives, their immune system is bound to meet a challenge. When an allergic reaction occurs, it is your child’s immunity that responds negatively to things it believes are harmful. 

As much as the responsibility of the immune system is to fight off illness, it sometimes reacts to a harmless substance. It reacts the same way it would towards an invading bacteria, parasite, or virus and creates antibodies to fight these allergens. The overproduction of these antibodies is what now causes inflammation and the swelling of tissues. 

What Parts of The Body React to Allergies?

The nasal passages, for instance, may swell up making breathing a problem. Allergies can affect the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, skin or even the cardiovascular system. An allergic reaction re-occurs when your baby is exposed to what triggered it the first time. It is for this reason that you need to identify her triggers to enable you to prevent your baby from having a prolonged allergic reaction. 

Can You Differentiate Between a Cold and An Allergy

The symptoms of a cold and an allergy are quite similar. However there are ways to differentiate the two. 

  • A cold will produce a runny nose with cloudy mucus; it will probably clear after one week. 
  • An allergy will cause persistent thin watery mucus. 
  • Coughs and wheezing that produce a whistling sound are common from a respiratory virus such as asthma.
  • A dry, hacking cough is caused by an allergic reaction. The baby will have trouble getting rid of colds or coughs.

Please contact your doctor in case of any of these symptoms, especially if your baby starts wheezing and has trouble breathing. 

Treating Allergic Reactions

The body reacts to allergies by releasing chemicals called histamines. Therefore, an antihistamine dose may help your baby if you think he/she is having a mild to moderate allergic reaction. Syrup is also a good alternative if your baby is still too young to  swallow solids. It is advisable to visit a doctor for tests and direction before administering any medication to your baby Please ask as many questions as you need answers when it comes to the health of your baby. You can never be too informed in this regard. 

Disclaimers

#Please note that development differs from one child to another.

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: webmd, kidshealth, raisingchildren, parents

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