If your child struggles with or develops allergies, they aren’t alone in their challenges. Allergies to usually harmless substances are common in children, and without treatment, can cause symptoms that range from being unpleasant to life-threatening.
In order to develop a treatment plan for allergies, board-certified pediatrician Rainilda Valencia, MD, of Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, recommends identifying your child’s allergen trigger or triggers, then prescribing a course of treatment. Learn more about five of the most common allergens in children and how they can be treated.
Could my child have allergies?
Your child might have allergies if they show symptoms of an allergic reaction after being exposed to certain substances. Allergic reactions vary, and symptoms can include:
- Watery eyes
- Upset stomach
- Runny nose
- Hives or a rash
- Hay fever
- Difficulty breathing
Depending on the type of allergies your child has, they can either experience these symptoms after exposure to a specific allergen, or seasonally, when their allergen is present in the general environment.
What are the most common allergens?
There are a number of allergens that can cause children to have allergic reactions. These are five of the most common you might see, and the treatments recommended for each by the Valencia Pediatrics team — Dr. Valencia, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP.
Mold is a fungus with spores that can occur indoors or outdoors, especially in climates that are humid and hot. Allergies to mold are very common in children and can cause symptoms like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose.
Getting any mold quickly removed from your house if you suspect there is an outbreak will help your child’s allergies. Our team can also prescribe medication to help with their symptoms.
Pollen is one of the most common culprits of seasonal allergies in children. In children with pollen allergies, hay fever symptoms similar to those experienced with mold allergies can occur, and they can last for months during times of the year with high pollen levels.
Our providers recommend children with pollen allergies avoid going outdoors as much as possible during times where pollen levels are high. Prescription medication can also help your child feel better.
Bites and stings from insects are painful for all children, but in children with allergies, they can cause severe allergic reactions. An allergic reaction from an insect bite or sting can cause severe issues, including swelling, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and anaphylactic shock.
For children who have severe allergic reactions to insect stings or bites, our team prescribes an EpiPen® that, when administered, provides life-saving treatment while emergency services arrive.
4. Animal dander
Furry friends are beloved family members, but sometimes, unfortunately, their dander can also cause allergic reactions. Children allergic to pet dander can have mild to moderate allergic responses.
The best way to address this problem is to avoid situations where your child has contact with the animals that trigger their allergy. Medication can also help.
5. Cigarette smoke
Children allergic to cigarette smoke can experience triggers if they come into close contact with smoke from cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. Watery eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, hoarseness, and headaches are some symptoms your child might experience.
Keeping your household smoke-free and ensuring their exposure to second-hand smoke is minimized can reduce your child’s allergic reactions.
Get treatment for your child’s allergies
Just because your child has allergic reactions doesn’t mean they need to continue to suffer the effects. After consulting with you and your child and determining what triggers your child’s allergies, our team develops a plan to relieve their reactions.
Treatment for allergies can include avoiding the allergen, medication, prescription inhalers, and an EpiPen. Additionally, our treatment plan includes teaching you and your child how to create an allergy-free environment whenever possible.
For more information about allergy diagnosis and treatment, give us a call at 442-204-0019.