WHO estimates that nearly 25% of the global population has got some kind of allergy. Research now shows that many of these allergies first start appearing during infancy or one’s childhood. In fact, according to ACAAI, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergic reactions rank in as the top chronic diseases in children. Even though these findings suggest that just about any child can become allergic, it seems that families with allergy history pass on the trait to their progeny rather easily.
An allergy that is caught early on, can, in most cases, be controlled and eventually neutralized. While allergy in children is usually an inherited trait, here are some of the symptoms of allergies that can help parents catch it in the nascent stages and stop it from becoming a chronic problem.
Parents believe that irritations of the skin around the elbows, knees are because of children falling down too frequently. Reality is that any localized irritation of this nature near the folding areas of the skin is a good sign of allergic reaction. Moreover, when irritation of this nature is accompanied by rashes near the eyes or dryness of skin elsewhere, it is most definitely because of an allergy. Plants such as Poison Ivy can cause such symptoms.
A running nose is normal in kids as their immune system is not developed sufficiently to tackle common cold. However, a running nose with localized itching around the nasal area is a definite indicator of allergy. The majority of airborne allergens cause this kind of a symptom in children.
Coughing is definitely a case of cold and should be accordingly treated. However, when the cough persists in a child and it does not respond to cold medication chances are that an allergy is causing it. Persistent cough with dryness or with phlegm in the mouth is an allergic reaction to some kind of airborne or dermatitis allergen. Blockage of the nose that does not abate over a week is also included in this list of symptoms for allergy in children.
Frequent Sinus Infections
Cold of a chronic nature should not be taken as bad luck as it is a definite sign of an allergy in the child. The sinus area shall remain blocked off with fluids, which in turn will lead to infection if left alone, increasing the chance of catching secondary allergies. Moreover, children with a blocked nose and sore throat should be taken to the pediatrician immediately as it can lead to rheumatism later on or even heart murmur. However, “a cold” due to an allergy will not go away with normal medication as it requires anti-allergen treatment.
Allergy or Sickness?
The above symptoms of allergies in children come quite close to common pediatric illnesses. So how can one differentiate between the two? The most important point to remember here is that if symptoms such as running nose, cold and cough appear rather quickly in a matter of minutes or hours then it is because of an allergic reaction but when cold or fever takes time it is usually viral or bacterial.
Monika Robertson is currently working for the Danish company Neutral.Her latests projects include topics about what causes allergy in children or also known in Danish as Sådan opstår allergi hos børn.