Allergies in Children

Allergies in Children

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    Different skin allergies may affect children and adults differently. Many skin allergy conditions develop during early childhood, and symptoms usually improve or go away completely by adulthood. One such condition is atopic dermatitis, which is a skin disorder that may be triggered by allergies and is quite common in children but usually disappears by the age of 25. Other skin allergies are more common in adults or can last a lifetime. For example, allergic contact dermatitis, which happens when a substance that touches the skin triggers an allergic reaction, is more common in adults.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Of particular importance for allergy, the lymphoid system -- the tonsils and lymph nodes -- peaks at around the age of 12. Since the lymphoids influence the immune system, when they stop developing, it can't help but have an effect on the functioning of the immune system. The immune system continues to function but the levels and patterns of how it functions are set. Allergies seem to abate in 30-50 percent of teenage boys only to return in some after 40. Girls seem to have the onset of allergy in the late teens.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    In some cases, a doc may recommend that your child get allergy shots. These are usually given if she is just miserable with allergic symptoms and the doc needs to find some way to improve the quality of her day-to-day life. The way it works is that your child will be given a very small amount of the allergen over a period of time, to help her body learn to tolerate the exposure. Allergy shots are not typically given to kids under five. They can be a positive life changer for a subset of kids.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    The conventional wisdom is that the child will probably outgrow one allergy related problem or another. They might, but chances are that each condition they outgrow will be followed by another down the road -- accompanied by the psychological problems that come from having spent their childhood sneezing, wheezing, and scratching.
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    A Pediatric Pulmonology, answered on behalf of
    What Are Seasonal Effects on Breathing in Children?
    Seasons can affect breathing in children, says Craig Nakamura, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at Sunrise Hospital. In this video, he discusses the effects of seasonal allergies as well as winter viruses in children.
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    Undiagnosed or uncontrolled asthma can cause many problems for young athletes. While coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of a cold, parents should talk to their pediatrician if coughing and wheezing occurs during exercise. Luckily, the treatments for asthma is very advanced and should help kids play sports or exercise comfortably.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, hives, eczema, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting are symptoms of allergic reactions in children.  However, tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and even death can occur with severe reactions. 
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    A myriad of particles/substances can act as allergens and trigger children's allergy symptoms. Common indoor allergens include dust mite, cockroach, pet dander and some molds, while outdoor allergens include trees, grass, weed pollen and other molds. Patients who are allergic to indoor allergens tend to be symptomatic year-round, while those who are allergic to pollens develop symptoms almost exclusively during the pollen season.
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    Pillows, mattresses, box springs, sheets, and blankets are all home to dust mites -- microscopic creatures that trigger allergies in kids. While you can wash sheets and blankets (and should do so on a weekly basis), you can’t exactly stuff a mattress into the washing machine.

    What you can do, though, is cover your child’s mattress and box spring with zippered plastic covers (you can find them in department and bed-and-bath stores). Before you buy any covers, crumple them to see how quiet they are. Some types are made of plastic that stays soft and quiet to the touch, while other types are made of plastic that crackles. Never use thin plastic, such as the plastic that comes with dry cleaning. It can get wrapped around a child’s face and become a safety hazard.

    Make sure you buy a cover that completely encloses the mattress. It’s easy to find mattress covers that are made like fitted sheets, with elastic around the edges, but resist the urge to settle for those. They don’t do the job because they don’t completely enclose the mattress top and bottom. Once you get your mattress cover home, wash it before putting the mattress into it to get rid of that “plastic” smell. You should also cover your child’s pillow with the same type of plastic before putting the pillow in the pillowcase. Always check with your pediatrician about using a plastic pillow or mattress cover, though, before you actually buy one. A child who drools or sweats when sleeping may develop a rash because the plastic cover may trap moisture, causing skin irritation.
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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Sometimes allergies turn up when you least expect them, unless you're an allergist. Take the case of 12-year-old Tommy. He had been a snorer for years, but no one thought much of it except the people within earshot when he was asleep, which did not include his pediatrician, naturally. However, the pediatrician did notice at a routine camp checkup that Tommy was developing an overbite and referred him to an orthodontist. The dentist applied braces with frequent return visits for tightening. Progress was slow. A snorer by night, it turns out that Tommy was a mouth breather by day. And because lip and tongue pressure against the upper palate are needed to help braces form a good dental arch, the orthodontist began exhorting Tommy to breathe through his nose. Tommy just couldn't do it because his nose was stuffed up. After discussion with the pediatrician, the dentist agreed that a visit to an allergist might help. An allergic treatment program for Tommy resulted in clearer nasal passages and much faster progress in correcting his overbite.