Allergies And Kids
How many times have our children faced annoying allergies? Whether they were caused by much desired fruits such as strawberries or after a walk on a field or an orchard in bloom, itching, rash or more serious respiratory problems marred the joy of the day. Why doe allergy occur and especially what we can do in this case? These are the most common questions that the doctor is asked regarding allergies wich I will try to respond to in this article.
What is an allergy?
Allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction of the body of a person acquired from contact with certain substances or allergens that are normally harmless (hair, dust, pollen, chocolate, fish, milk) or a medicinal product or a particular bacterium. Many unexpected body side effects can occur, but the most common allergic reactions occur in the skin, mucous membranes and airways.
What are the causes of allergies?
The most common reasons that cause allergies in children are: pollen (leading to seasonal allergic rhinitis ), mold spores, cat or dog dander, cockroaches, dust mites (which are nestled in carpets, mattresses, pillows, carpets) , food (eggs, chocolate, some cookies, fish, yeast, cow’s milk protein or soy, celery, peanuts, strawberries, berries, orange, apple, kiwi, nuts, tomatoes), the venom coming from animal bites (snakes), stinging insects (bees, wasps or spiders), drugs (penicillin) or vaccines (tetanus vaccine, pertussis vaccine, the vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia), cosmetics and detergents (containing chlorine, caustic soda or phosphates ), various irritants. A special type of allergy, which occurs mainly in infants (2-3%) is caused by milk. It disappears, most often by the age of 4-5 years and is caused mainly by cow’s milk, goat or sheep and, rarely, by mother milk. The allergy is caused by the milk protein and leads to upset stomach, evidenced by loose stools, colic, rash, restlessness and irritability of the child. This should not be confused with lactose intolerance, which occurs at much higher ages and is caused by an inability to digest lactose.
What are symptoms of an allergy?
The most common allergic reactions occur in the skin, mucous membranes and airways. They manifest as rhinitis, hives, eczema ,endogenous asthma or edema (acute or chronic), high in intensity or mitigated. A first contact with the allergen can trigger an acute reaction manifested by difficulty in breathing, bronchospasm, cough, swelling at the bite site, urticaria with severe itching, skin bruising, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, changes of pulse, also known as anaphylaxis. Fortunately these manifestations are rare, but must be treated immediately by a doctor at the hospital because anaphylaxis can be life threatening. More frequently a slight reaction with hives, watery eyes, hoarseness, upset stomach, and possibly local inflammation, occurs.
What treatment is indicated for allergies?
Acute allergies such as anaphylaxis, are treated in a hospital and after the crisis, antihistamines are prescribed to reduce itching and a type of cortisone to reduce inflammation. In the case of mild allergies, along with your doctor prescribed treatment, a liver protecting diet and avoidance of emotions and hard work should be enough.
Drug treatment that is indicated by physicians or local allergist include oral antihistamines, which diminishes the symptoms, cortisone, immunotherapy. Desensibilization can be done under certain conditions, depending on the allergen, condition or age of the child.
Is there an effective prophylaxis for allergies?
Knowing the substance that the child is allergic to and avoiding it as much as possible, is the main prevention method. For those sensitive it is very important to avoid areas with excess pollen from trees (maple) or herbs (plantain and watercress). Balancing the immune system is essential, by adopting a diet with more fruits (sea-buckthorn, blueberry, cranberry), fresh vegetables, seeds and grains. Consume foods rich in vitamins C, A, E, bioflavonoids which controls the production of histamine, a substance responsible for the itching and inflammation, flavonoids as natural antioxidants, carotenoids, zinc, selenium, and calcium. The allergy must be treated from the first symptom to prevent complications and a chronic disease.
Last but not least, it is indicated that teens with increased sensitivity to allergens or parents whose children are allergic to keep at hand, an emergency, the drugs given by the doctor for crisis situations.