ALLERGIES - NOT RELATED TO FOOD
There are many things in your child's environment that can cause allergic reactions that are not related to food. What are the symptoms of non-food related allergies and how to prevent and treat them is discussed in this fact sheet.
There are many things in your child’s environment that can cause allergic reaction s that are not related to food. For example: Pollen, grass, animals, chemicals, medications and insect bites.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION?
MILD OR MODERATE
Rash, hives, or welts
Swelling of the face, eyes, or lips
Abdominal pain or vomiting (if this happens after an insect sting, it means your child is having a severe allergic reaction)
SEVERE NON-FOOD ALLERGICC REACTION (usually happens with medication, latex or insect stings.
Difficult or noisy breathing
Swelling of the tongue
Swelling or tightness in the throat
Trouble talking and/or a hoarse voice
A wheeze or persistent cough
Persistent dizziness or collapse
Asthma, eczema, and hay fever symptoms might become worse than usual
Young child may go pale and floppy
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD HAS AN ALLERGIC REACTION?
Talk to your doctor about keeping an antihistamine in your medicine or first aid kit. Depending on the age of the child it could be in tablet or syrup form.
ANAPHYLAXIS IS LIFE THREATENING
If your child is having difficulty breathing call 911 for an ambulance immediately.
SOME COMMON ALLERGIES AND HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT THEM:
Usually cause red, itchy skin, hives, runny nose and eyes. It can make a child eczema or asthma worse.
Your child should avoid touching animals she reacts to. With a doctor’s approval you can give the child a dose of antihistamine and 30 minutes before going to house with an animal your cild reacts mildly to.
GRASS, WEEDS and POLLEN ALLERGIES:
May cause hay fever symptoms like, runny noses, itchy eyes, and nose. It can even cause a skin rash and eczema might get worse. This allergy may be worse at certain times of the year when grass and plants are growing.
· If your child develops a rash when in contact with grass, dress your child in long sleeves and
· long pants.
· Give your child a shower or bath after playing outside. Especially if he feels itchy.
· Keep windows and doors shut and stay inside when the grass is being mowed
Your child may develop allergies to prescription or non-prescription medication. If your child develops hives or swelling after takin the first 1-2 doses of a medication, call your doctor immediately and tell him about the reaction. He may change the medication and suggest you do not give your child another dose. If your child is having problems breathing call 911 for an ambulance immediately.
Bites and stings from insects are common. Usually it causes only temporary pain and redness at the site of the sting. However, if the child has severe swelling, difficulty breathing and/or
severe pain call 911 and get medical attention immediately.
Treatment for insect stings:
· Remove the stinger if it is still in the skin. (flick out the stinger if possible- grabbing it can squeeze extra venom into the sting site.
· Wash the sting or bite site
· Apply a cold pack to the bite or sting site
· If the area is very itchy give the child a dose of antihistamine (with Doctors permission)
· For severe allergic reactions, talk to your doctor about having an auto-injector like an epi-pen available for the child.
· Cover child with clothing – wear shoes and light-colored clothing (which is less attractive to bees and wasps)
· Being aware of areas where insects are very active, for example near flower beds and around swimming pools.
· Have insect nests removed by professionals
· Do not leave cans of juice or soda uncovered when outside
CHEMICAL ALLERGIES AND INTOLLERANCES:
There are many chemicals in metal, clothing dyes, glues, carpets, creams, perfumes, sunscreen etc. that can cause allergic reactions to your child’s skin. This is called ‘contact dermatitis’.
· Use hypoallergenic products on your child’s skin
· Try any cream on a small area of the skin first to see if there is a reaction
· Try as best as possible to keep your house free from perfume and cleaning products that may irritate your child’s skin and nose.
WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR CHILD DEVELOPS ALLERGY AT SCHOOL?
Children can develop allergies from school pets. Often this can cause asthma symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, a rash, runny nose, or sneezing to get worse.
Talk with your school nurse and administration office. Discuss the triggers to the allergy attacks, what medication is to be given and what can be done to protect the child from future allergy attacks.
If you suspect that your child has allergies, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you watch to see if runny, itchy, red or swollen eyes persists beyond a week or two.
1. Is the child’s runny nose chronic?
2. Does your child say that their mouth or throat itches or tingles?
3. Do they scratch their ears?
4. Do these symptoms appear at the same time of year each year?
Talk to your doctor about your concerns and come up with the best plan for your child.
It is important that if you think you child has allergies that you talk to your doctor.