An allergic reaction may happen in babies for a variety of reasons. A baby that has an allergic reaction is just responding to a typically harmless substance in a particular way. Babies allergies symptoms can be different and they depend on the type of an allergy baby has.
Developing a rash in babies is much more likely in babies than in adults, mainly due to the sensitive skin of infants. A rash can be triggered even with the slightest irritation in babies, which is why you need to be extra careful when it comes to baby allergies. Identifying the cause and baby allergic reaction treatment is usually determined by a healthcare professional. The main goal is to prevent future reactions.
Babies and Allergies
Babies can have allergies the same as older children and adults. They can have allergies to the microscopic particles they inhale, the things they touch, and the foods they eat. Babies allergies symptoms can be very confusing. Your little one is not able to describe the symptoms it has so you have to look for them to figure out what’s wrong.
A baby can have different allergic reactions, but three main categories are generally divided into:
- Food and medicine
Environmental allergies are usually specific things that get in contact with your baby’s skin, such as dust, clothes detergent, or things that your child inhales. This kind of allergy can affect your child for about a year continually.
Seasonal allergies happen in specific locations or during certain parts of the year. Usually, they originate from plants and trees that grow in the area where your child gets an allergic reaction. You may probably hear for another term used to describe these allergies – “hay fever”.
As already mentioned, your baby’s body will react unusually to generally harmless things if your baby has an allergic reaction. Babies allergies symptoms vary depending on the type of allergy and the individual.
It is important to know that babies are much less likely to develop an allergy to a certain thing than older children or adults. Developing an allergic reaction requires an individual to be in contact with some things first. The most uncommon allergies are seasonal. An infant still hasn’t been in contact with high pollen levels because it hasn’t lived through all seasons yet. Inhaled allergies are very uncommon until a baby is at least 2 years old.
These are very uncommon in young babies. However, pollen, mold, pets, insect stings, dust, and other things in the environment can trigger some symptoms such as:
- Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness
- Runny nose
- Red and itchy eyes
Itchy bumps, rash, and hives are also common symptoms that your baby may develop if they are exposed to something they are sensitive to. Baby allergic reaction treatment for these symptoms is pretty straightforward, you will probably get a rash cream for the condition. Your baby’s pediatrician will explain how to use it.
Common triggers for contact dermatitis are detergents, soaps, and shampoos.
Seasonal babies allergies symptoms are very similar to environmental. They are usually caused by allergens in some plants and the symptoms are usually:
- Runny nose
- Itchy and watery eyes
You will know that your baby has a seasonal allergy if the symptoms are only occurring during certain times of the year. There is a treatment for these allergies but it is usually mild. Consult with your baby’s pediatrician to better understand what to do.
Food and Medicine allergies
Noticing the symptoms of a food or medicine allergy is the easiest, mainly because they appear only just a few minutes. Some symptoms may show after about an hour. However, some signs may not appear even after several days, like rashes.
The most common symptoms for this type of allergies are:
- Rashes and hives
Food allergies can also give symptoms like abdominal pain, vomiting, or nausea. Your child’s tongue or lips may also start to swell in some specific cases.
The fatal allergic reactions in this category are called anaphylaxis. They are not that common, but they are very much real. Anaphylaxis may occur when the body starts producing certain chemicals in abnormal levels due to the exposure to an allergen. The overproduction will then send your baby’s body in shock. The airways become narrow and the blood pressure drops dramatically, making breathing very difficult.
The most common reason for anaphylaxis in children is severe food allergies. However, certain medications might also cause the condition in certain cases, for example, aspirin and antibiotics. Anaphylaxis can also be caused by insect bites or stings, the most common being the bee sting.
Babies are usually safe from anaphylaxis and it happens very rarely. However, when it happens it is due to the protein in cow’s milk.
Coughing and a runny nose are very common symptoms for a lot of conditions. This is why a lot of people can’t differentiate an allergy from a cold. So, how can you know what’s the best baby allergic reaction treatment if you aren’t even sure what is your child experiencing?
The first thing to do is to note the frequency and the timing of babies allergies symptoms. Environmental and seasonal allergies caused by inhaled allergens are not very common among babies, while colds are. You should also know that a cold will usually last for about 7-14 days. Your child should be well after this period and you won’t notice the symptoms anymore. However, babies allergies symptoms tend to last a lot longer.
Another thing you need to notice is to search for the absence or presence of other particular symptoms. For example, a baby fever usually comes with a cold, while allergies don’t cause fevers most of the time. Also, an allergy won’t cause any pain in your baby’s body, while a cold often causes pain and aches in babies.
Treating Baby Allergies
Baby allergic reaction treatment usually consists of eliminating the allergen exposure. For example, you find out that your baby is allergic to cats’ fur – this means that you will have to keep your child away from cats in general. If your baby is lactose intolerant, you will have to eliminate milk from your diet if you are breastfeeding and from your baby’s diet.
Be aware that your breast milk might be the cause of your baby’s allergic reactions since some allergens can be transferred that way. However, breastfeeding is very important, especially in the first six months of your baby’s life. This is why exposure to allergens is outweighed by nursing in most cases.
Certain medication that contains antihistamines is usually prescribed by doctors as adequate baby allergic reaction treatment. Allergic reactions are minimized thanks to antihistamines. However, children under the age of 2 shouldn’t be taking any antihistamines, according to experts.
You will have to consult with your baby’s pediatrician before you decide to use any medication for your baby’s allergic reaction. Also, be sure to read the guidelines you get with the medication.
Some eczema creams might be very helpful in the treatment of your baby’s allergic reaction. However, you will have to make sure with your baby’s pediatrician that the cream you want to use is safe, even if you don’t need a prescription for the medication.
Certain insect and food allergies may cause severe anaphylaxis. This is when your doctor will usually prescribe epinephrine due to an emergency case. This medication is injected into the skin immediately after. Your baby’s symptoms will be controlled after the shot, but further medical care will be needed.
When to Seek Help?
Take note of any short and mild symptoms you may notice. Think about what could cause the symptoms – are there new detergents in your household, did your baby try new food recently, was your baby in contact with a pet?
These mild symptoms usually don’t require you to visit a doctor. However, it is very useful to remember them so you can mention what happened to your baby’s pediatrician for the next appointment.
Call the doctor’s office if the symptoms are not subsiding within a day or two. If you notice that the symptoms are getting worse, make sure you take your child to a doctor. The same goes for any symptoms you notice after giving certain medication to your baby. Even a mild reaction to a medication should be a good sign to contact a doctor.
Baby Planet Overview
You can manage baby allergies. However, you will be required to make some changes in your daily routine to achieve anything. Consider changing the diet for your whole family if your baby has food allergies. Be extra aware of symptoms since a baby might have more allergic reactions at once.
Work closely with your allergist, pediatrician, and everyone who get in contact with your child. Tell your babysitter or people at a daycare center about your baby’s allergic reaction.
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- Infant anaphylaxis: the importance of early recognition, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov