Spotting a Food Allergic Child
As adults, allergies can be the bane of our existence. They can be just as bothersome for our kids. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether or not children have allergies, because it’s hard for them to understand and explain their own symptoms. But there are certain signs that can clue us in.
Sometimes allergic reactions involving the skin are obvious, and other times they are dismissed as something else. One of the most common signs of allergies in kids, eczema, is often miscategorized as normal dry skin. Eczema, however, consists of itchy red patches. They may or may not be flaky, but they usually cause the child considerable discomfort. Eczema is not always a sign of allergies, but it should be treated as a signal that there may be a problem.
Rashes and swelling are also common indicators of allergic reactions. These can also have other causes, but if they appear suddenly and prominently, prompt medical attention is crucial. If they are barely noticeable, they can still be a sign of allergies. Watch your child to see if these symptoms appear after exposure to certain foods, animals, plants or substances. If they do, allergies may be to blame.
Dark circles under the eyes are usually associated with lack of sleep. But in children, they are often signs of allergies. These so-called “allergic shiners” are caused by increased blood flow around the blocked sinuses.
Symptoms Commonly Associated With Colds
Certain types of allergies wreak havoc on the eyes and nose. The eyes may get red, watery and itchy. The nose might have clear, thin discharge or thicker, yellow or green discharge. The sinuses could become blocked, causing difficulty breathing through the nose and headaches. When left untreated, this can progress to a sinus or ear infection.
Frequent sneezing may also be a sign of allergies. Sneezing during colds is usually brief, but those with allergies may sneeze several times in a row. Irritation of the nose may also cause children to rub their noses frequently, sometimes resulting in a crease at the bridge of the nose.
A dry, hacking cough, wheezing and shortness of breath are some of the signs of asthma. Asthma is frequently associated with allergies. It’s important that asthma be properly diagnosed, because a severe asthma attack can be life-threatening if not treated correctly.
When to Be Concerned
These symptoms are sometimes too serious to ignore. But in many cases, they are much more subtle. Parents often chalk sniffling and sneezing up to colds, and skin problems may be attributed to chafing or exposure to chemicals. It’s often hard to tell when such symptoms are cause for concern.
If your child has cold-like symptoms for more than seven to ten days, it might be time to talk to his doctor about allergies. If he has them off and on for shorter periods of time, it’s also possible that allergies are the cause. Ongoing skin problems may or may not be related to allergies, but they should be checked out to be sure. And asthma symptoms are always sufficient cause for a trip to the doctor.
Allergies are common in children, yet they often go undiagnosed for years. If you suspect that your child might have them, don’t delay in taking him to the doctor. There are many treatment options available that can make him feel much better, one of which is the anti allergen diet.