It is said that one of the safest place a baby resides is the mother’s womb. Though babies typically don’t develop allergies, at least for the first six months, a mother may get concerned during seasonal changes. Here are 7 Signs to help you know if your baby has a seasonal allergy:
1. Check For Skin Rashes
If you notice itchy, red rashes around the creases of your infant’s arms, behind his knees, or anywhere else on his body during the first 6 months, it is most probably atopic dermatitis. Since infants mostly remain indoors, they are prone to indoor skin allergies. Allergic irritants, like dust mites, cause atopic dermatitis and peak in seasons with high moisture. A pediatric dermatologist may prescribe a topical ointment for relief and the symptoms may resolve in a few months.
2. Pollen Allergies
It is highly unlikely for an infant to contract pollen allergy in the first year, as he/she is yet to experience one full year of seasonal changes. However, if your one-year-old shows combined symptoms of watery eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion or wheezing for more than a week, check with the doctor if an allergy test is required to confirm suspected pollen allergy and seeking necessary treatment.
3. Feather and Fur Allergies
If you have pets at home, like cats or dogs, or even birds, be cautious about their presence around your baby. If your baby has been experiencing bouts of sneezing, has irritable, itchy watery eyes, sudden coughs and is overall uncomfortable, it may be due to feather or fur allergy. In such cases, keep your baby away from pets and seek medical aid immediately.
4. Food Allergies
Food allergies typically appear once the baby starts solid food, unless, in rare cases, the baby is lactose intolerant, which is allergy to milk. After any meal, if your baby exhibits symptoms such as flushed skin, hives/rashes, swelling of lips, tongue or face, vomiting, diarrhea, cough or wheezing, he/she is allergic to some or all components of the food. Seek medical help immediately in such a scenario.
5. Family History
If you have a family history of allergies, your child is bound to have it too, especially if it happens to be the older sibling of the baby. Discuss your older child’s allergy history with your pediatrician and devise preventive measures for your baby. This may help you be on guard when a bout of allergy occurs in your newborn and will certainly not catch you unawares.
If you find blisters or redness around your baby’s private area which isn’t resolved by diaper rash cream, it is probably fungal infection or allergy due to unhygienic practices like keeping soiled diapers on for too long, using perfumed cleaning products on your baby’s skin, using harsh chemicals to wash clothes or delay in changing wet cloth nappies. It is extremely important to maintain hygiene while cleaning private areas of your baby. Use baby-safe cleaning products.
7. Crowd Control
If your toddler exhibits sneezing, runny nose, cough or feels warmer than usual after a visit to the mall or a crowded park during the weekend, chances are he has contracted flu or other seasonal viral infections from someone else. It is wise to avoid crowded places during that time of the year when air-borne infections are high, unless it is absolutely necessary. Prioritize your child’s health and find other ways to keep him entertained.
Let not the fear of allergies stop you from letting your baby venture out completely. Early exposure will help his/her developing immune system to adapt to the changes in his body. Practice hygienic ways of cleaning and clothing your baby, maintain dust-free indoors; and keep some safe over-the-counter medicines handy for emergencies (after consulting the doctor), and your baby should just be fine!