Allergies in Children

Allergies in Children

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    Most moderate to severe allergic or asthmatic children need to be supervised to take their medication at least twice daily. That's at least two times a day the parental figure's attention is drawn away from the well children. How do you reduce the feelings of neglect on the part of the well children?

    Get them to act as assistant caregivers and help the parent give the medication. When you take the medication down from its secure location, give it to your assistant to carry. Secure storage is crucial - you don't want anyone to play doctor when you're not around.

    Explain each step as your physician taught it to you. Repeat the names of the medications and delivery devices. Take the mystery out of medication and replace it with fun and understanding.

    Reinforce the message - and take the attraction out of all the attention that comes from being sick - by playing a game of role reversal. The sick child can act out becoming the assistant caregiver for the well child.

    Above all, make sure that all children get time during which they are your sole focus.
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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 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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    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 answered
    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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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) seems to be a problem for the middle-aged, not for children. People are more likely to encounter it when they change jobs or move to a new workplace than their kids are. Still, whether the worry is chemicals or such proven allergens as molds and mouse droppings, there is always a chance that they will activate their children's plain old allergies in the event they renovate their homes, or if a child's school is going to be renovated.
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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
    Allergy shots -- also known as allergen immunotherapy, specific allergen immunotherapy, hyposensitization, or desensitization -- would seem like a kind of miracle treatment, a kind of slow-motion inoculation that eliminates the need for a kid to take a pharmacy of medications or be overly careful about where she goes and when. Who knows? She might even be able to clean up her room without sneezing -- but don't hold your breath.

    Small amounts of the material she has reacted to in diagnostic skin tests are injected into her arm with a small, almost painless needle. A reaction, something like a mosquito bite, may appear, although she should remain at the doctor's office for at least half an hour to monitor the severity of the reaction.
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    A Pediatrics, answered on behalf of

    Allergies can make some people itch. Others get runny nose. Some feel stuffed up and get a headache. Severe allergies can trigger wheezing making it hard to breath. When kids don't feel well they may respond by not being as happy or cooperative. They may exhibit stress with poor behavior or even by being withdrawn.

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    A , Allergy & Immunology, answered
    In the event of allergy or enlarged lymph tissue from infection, the Eustachian tube will be closed for long periods of time, creating a vacuum in the middle ear, during which fluid can accumulate, followed by one of those painful ear infections. Chronic ear infections can cause hearing loss. Sometimes a tube has to be placed in the eardrum to substitute for the blocked Eustachian tube. If your child is prone to ear infection, allergy treatment is not merely useful but necessary.