The malfunction of the immune system by which it recognizes the innocent foreign substance as an immunogenic and produces elevated responses against it is called allergy. Millions of kids around the world suffer from allergy to one or the other substance. It is estimated that kids above 4 million school days are lost each year due to these allergy in kids. Kids can have all sorts of allergy that are found in adults, they can suffer from skin allergy, food allergy, pollen allergy, insect venom allergy and medicine allergy.
The root of allergy may be hereditary in most of the cases. Recessive allelic forms of many allergy susceptible genes can increase the chance for different allergies. If allergy runs in the family, there is an increased chance for the kids in that family to get allergy to the same or different allergen. It is not just the gene which determines the allergy, many environmental allergens like tobacco smoke, pollen, dust, food protein, metals or insect venom can also cause allergy in many kids. Coming in contact with different allergen in earlier stages of life can increase the risk of allergy in the coming years.
Kids can suffer from allergic reaction to different types of allergen. As most parents think, it is not just runny nose and sneezing that are the symptoms of allergy in kids. A wide range of symptoms can be shown in kids as a result of allergic response to different allergens. Each allergen can produce different symptoms in two different individuals and different allergens can also produce the same allergic responses. Skin rashes, itchy and watery eyes, wheezing, asthma, allergic shiners (dark circle under eyes due to reduced blood flow), allergic salute (rubbing of nose due to irritation) and allergic crease near the bottom of the child's nose are some of the common symptoms of allergy in kids.
More than eight percentages of children suffer from one or more food allergy and the most common food allergy in children are allergy to peanuts. Most of the food allergies are caused due to foods like shell fish, milk, egg, soy protein, wheat and fish. But in a few cases even fruits like strawberries and apple can also trigger allergic reaction in kids. Allergic symptoms to different food can range from simple skin rashes, itchy mouth and throat uneasiness to severe anaphylactic reactions and even death. Peanut allergy is associated with a number of deaths around the world.
Kids can suffer from allergic reactions to different chemicals, soaps, plants or metals which cause skin rashes, atopic dermatitis and hives. Children have a very sensitive skin and contact allergy to different chemical substance or plants like poison ivy and a single touch or a small amount of these allergen can trigger allergic reactions on skin. Cloth fiber, cosmetics and household cleaners can also cause contact dermatitis in kids.
Antibiotics like penicillin are the main cause of medicinal allergy and medicinal allergy can cause symptoms like skin rashes, blisters, swelling of lips and nasopharynx, or even breathing difficulty in kids. It is not just antibiotics that causes allergy in kids, other on the counter medicine can also trigger allergic reactions. But it is always important to seek the help of a doctor for differentiating between the side effect and allergic effect of the medicine.
Air borne allergen like dust, tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander and dust mites can cause allergic rhinitis and asthma in young children. Allergic asthma usually begins at a younger age and continues throughout life. In some, asthma attacks are found to subside naturally as the kids reach the age of twelve or fourteen. Seasonal hay fever or asthma attacks are found in children allergic to pollen grains.
Itchy nose, wheezing, nasal congestion and coughing are associated with air borne allergy. These symptoms are mostly accompanied by red and watery eyes which is allergic conjunctivitis.
If a condition like cough, skin rashes, asthma or sneezing, persist for more than a week or if your child have these symptoms frequently, they should be tested for allergy. Routine skin test can diagnose most of the allergy, in other cases blood test has to be done.
The first step in treating the allergy in kids is to control the indoor allergens and keeping the house more dry, clean and ventilated. If you know which specific allergen is causing the allergy, take all the precaution to keep your child away from it. Medications and treatment are available to effectively treat the allergy in kids but the medicines and the dose are different in kids of different age group. In some cases, immunotherapy or allergy shots may be needed to relieve the symptoms of allergy.