10 Common Allergies In Toddlers To Watch Out For

Allergies In Toddlers To Watch Out For

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The last four decades or so has seen a steep rise in cases of allergy around the world, especially the west. There is no clear reason for this sudden rise of allergies that were virtually unknown earlier.

Living with an allergic child is like walking on eggshells. You have no clue where the next trigger will come from. But you can’t give up! You need to arm yourself with information to win the battle against allergies.

Here’s a brief information guide on the ten most common allergies toddler’s experience. With this list of common allergies in toddlers, you’ll be better equipped to manage allergy signs in toddlers.

1. Tree/Plant Pollen:

Pollen is the most common allergen that can attack toddlers (1). Also known as ‘Allergy rhinitis’, this seasonal allergy inflicts a large part of the population around the world.

Symptoms:

Some common symptoms associated with pollen allergy includes:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Nose congestion
  • Watery and red eyes

Treatment:

Here are some common ways to easy allergy symptoms:

  • Antihistamines.
  • Topical nasal steroids.
  • Cromolyn sodium.
  • Decongestants.
  • Allergy shots.

Prevention:

Prevention is better than cure. This saying is especially true when it comes to toddlers allergies. Some of the ways you can prevent pollen allergy are:

  • Ιf it is pollen season and windy outside, stay at home as much as you can.
  • Try and keep windows closed during allergy season.
  • Make sure to give your toddler a bath and wash her hair before she goes to bed.
  • Don’t put your toddler’s clothes out in the sun to dry.

[ Read: Causes of Sinuses In Toddlers ]

2. Insect Bites:

Insects are everywhere. you can’t possibly keep insects out of your toddler’s life. But is she is allergic to insect bites or stings, you may have no other option.

Symptoms:

If your toddler gets an insect bite and experiences the following symptoms, talk to your doctor.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, throat, or mouth
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Pimple-like spots
  • Mild to moderate swelling
  • Warmth at the sting site
  • Itching

Treatment:

Follow the tips given below to treat the symptoms of an insect bite allergy:

  • Washing bite site.
  • Applying calamine lotion to soothe the itching.
  • Ice packs to help bring the swelling down.
  • Antihistamine medicine.
  • Strong steroid creams.
  • Epipen.

Prevention:

Banish insects from your toddler’s life!

  • Make sure your toddler dresses in clothes that cover her entire body.
  • Keep rubbish bins covered.
  • Use insect repellents but sparingly
  • Fix insect screens to windows.
  • Use Insecticide sprays.

3. Pet/Animal Hair Or Fur: 

We all love our pets. They are more like family for many of us. But sometimes, toddlers can grow allergic to pets or their fur. Allergy symptoms manifest shortly after exposure but stay on long after the animal is gone.

Symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines and other over-the-counter allergy medications.
  • Allergy shots.

Prevention:

Other ways to minimize pet allergy symptoms include:

  • Try and keep your toddler away from your pet (easier said than done!)
  • Make your toddler’s room off limit for your pet.
  • Keep your pet away from commonly used furniture.
  • Brush your pet regularly.

[ Read: Treatments To Cure Whooping Cough In Toddlers ]

4. Dust Mites:

Dust mites are invisible enemies that can wreck havoc with your little ones health! If your toddler is allergic to dust, she is among the 20 million Americans who suffer from the same allergy!

Symptoms: 

Dust allergy manifests as:

  • Eyes that are red, itchy, watery
  • Runny, itchy, stuffy nose
  • Sneezing

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal steroids
  • Allergy shots

Prevention:

The easiest way to prevent dust allergy is to keep your house dust free. Here’s what you can do:

  • Cover pillows and mattresses with airtight, plastic dust-mite covers.
  • Wash your toddler’s bedding in very hot water once a week.
  • Vacuum your carpets once or twice a week.
  • Don’t forget to vacuum upholstered furniture such as sofas.
  • Keep your toddler’s room free of soft toys.

5. Cigarette Smoke:

You as an adult may smoke out of your free will. But your toddler has no say in inhaling all the second-hand smoke wafting towards her. Some toddlers develop allergy to cigarette smoke early in life.

Symptoms:

If you suspect cigarette smoke allergy, check for the following symptoms:

  • Vocal hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coughing
  • Nasal Irritation

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal steroids

Prevention:

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction from cigarette smoke is to keep your toddler away from people who smoke! If you smoke, maybe it is time to quit. Or if you need to smoke, do so when your toddler is not around.

6. Fragrance: 

The world is full of fragrances. What can be wrong with something as pleasant as beautiful smell? Well, for one, your toddler could be allergic to it! Fragrance doesn’t just mean perfumes. It can be the fragrance of your talcum powder or washing powder!

Symptoms:

Some of symptoms may include:

  • Allergic contact dermatitis (rash on the face, hands, and arms)
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Itching

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal steroids

Prevention:

To protect your toddler, you’ll first need to find the real culprit. Once you zero in on the allergen, get rid of it!

[ Read: How To Treat Pink Eye In Toddlers ]

7. Car Fumes:

You must have heard about the bad impact of vehicular pollution. But did you know that car fumes can also cause allergy? The chemicals in car fumes are powerful allergens and can cause allergic reactions in many people, including toddlers (2).

Symptoms:

Here are some common symptoms of an allergy to car fumes:

  • Fatigue
  • Asthma
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rhinitis
  • Congestion
  • Sinus pain
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Digestive Issues
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Rashes

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal steroids

Prevention:

The treatment options given above can at best provide temporary relief. The only way to help your toddler is to keep her away from car fumes. That is not easy. You can invest in masks for your toddler to prevent this allergy.

8. Peanuts:

Peanut allergy is in the news nowadays. This is because peanuts are everywhere. And peanut allergy can prove to be fatal for some people. In fact, it is not uncommon to find whole schools that have been declared ‘peanut free’ zones! That will give you an idea about the severity of the situation.

Symptoms:

A toddler with peanut allergy may show the following symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • An itchy feeling around the mouth or throat.
  • Nausea
  • Nasal congestion
  • Anaphylaxis – this is the most dangerous outcome of a peanut allergy

Treatment:

  • OTC antihistamines can be used to treat mild allergic symptoms.
  • Epinephrine shot – in case of a severe reaction.

Prevention:

The best way to prevent peanut allergy is to avoid peanut and peanut-derived products. But some toddlers may be allergic to particles of peanuts that float invisible in the air. This can cause an allergic reaction even when your toddler doesn’t consume any peanut related food. That is why many airlines now don’t serve peanut during their flight.

9. Eggs:

Eggs are tasty and nutritious. But they are also a known allergen! If you have an egg allergy, chances are high that your toddler too may end up with it.

Symptoms:

An egg allergy typically shows the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Nasal Inflammation
  • Digestives issues
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anaphylaxis

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines
  • Emergency epinephrine shots

Prevention:

Keep your toddler’s diet egg free to prevent episodes of egg allergy. You need to be mindful of what she eats. You also need to be careful while eating out. Read labels and pick only ingredients that are egg free.

You can also make sure your toddler wears an allergy necklace or bracelet to warn others about her allergy.

[ Read: Symptoms Of The Flu In Toddlers ]

10. Milk/Milk Products:

We cannot imagine our little ones diet without milk. But it may be important to get rid of all milk and milk related products from your toddler’s diet if she has a milk allergy. But do not mistake milk intolerance for milk allergy (3)!

Symptoms: 

Unlike milk intolerance, milk allergy can cause severe symptoms, including:

  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Anaphylaxis

Treatment:

  • Antihistamines.
  • Emergency injection of epinephrine.

Prevention:

You need to make peace with the fact that your child will grow without milk. But that doesn’t mean she’ll be deprived of nutrients! Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives that can compensate for the lack of milk in your toddler’s daily menu.

This was just a guide about the most common allergies in toddlers. But there are other allergens in your toddler’s environment that may be the case for your little one’s distress. There is no treatment for these allergies. The treatment options mentioned here are just ways to ease symptoms. The best you can do is to prevent allergic episodes.

Allergies are no laughing matter. If you doubt that your toddler is allergic to something, get her tested. A simple blood test can confirm your suspicion. You can then work with your doctor to find ways to keep the little one safe.

Research is underway to find the reasons for the outbreak of allergies today. Hopefully, soon there will be a breakthrough and your toddler will be able to live an allergy-free life!

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