Allergies are more common than most people think. Some allergies are hereditary, while some are developed over time. In any case, allergic reaction is a topic everyone should make a conscious effort to know more about. While not all allergies are serious, some allergies can lead to death. Parents, most especially, need to be well informed so that they know what to do when their kids get allergies.
An allergic reaction or “allergy” is a protective reaction by the body. It is caused by an external stimulus called an allergen. An allergen can be just about anything – from animal fur to plants, from dust to food. Anything in the environment can be an allergen, so it is always best to be informed of the symptoms of allergic reactions. Some of these symptoms include the following:
· Coughs or shortness of breath
· Diarrhea, stomach pain, or vomiting
· Itching or swelling of the skin
· Runny nose or watery eyes
· Swelling of the eyes, lips or sore throat
Aside from its symptoms, here are basic tips on allergies that parents should keep in mind:
· Be informed of you and your partner’s family history. As a parent, this will allow you to anticipate possible allergens that may have an adverse effect on your child. It is best to inform your family doctor and pediatrician of your family history regarding allergens.
· Expose your child to possible allergens in little doses. Parents were previously told to avoid possible allergens altogether. Indeed, times have changed. Parents today are encouraged to do otherwise for as long as the allergic reactions are minimal.
· Have an emergency medical kit at home. Ask your pediatrician for a list of treatments and medicines you need to have in case of minor allergic reactions. Furthermore, have a copy of your pediatrician’s contact number at all times.
· Be attentive to your child’s behavior. This is especially important for children that are too young to express their feelings verbally. For older children, guide them so that they will learn to communicate whenever they feel something out of the norm. As always, inform your child’s pediatrician of anything unusual that may be characterized as symptoms.
· Do not panic in the event of an allergic reaction. Instead, keep calm and write down in detail the symptoms that you have observed from your child. Make sure to relay this information to your child’s pediatrician right away so that the necessary treatments may be done immediately.
· In the event of life-threatening symptoms, take your child to the hospital right away. These symptoms often include swelling, vomiting, and difficult breathing. Share each and every detail with the doctor in the ER so that they would have a better assessment for your child’s treatment. As always, keep your child’s pediatrician informed.
· Try to determine what might have caused the allergies. After your child’s allergic reaction, list down his recent food intake as well as other external factors he might have been unusually exposed to.
Dealing with children’s allergic reactions can be very frustrating for parents. The key here is for parents to always keep themselves and their pediatricians informed.