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Everything You Need to Know About Children’s Allergies

For up to 40% of children, allergies are an unfortunate fact of life. Neighborhoods are full of children playing outside during peak allergy season, seemingly without a care in the world. Learning about allergy symptoms in kids will help you avoid allergens and find the right treatment options so your child can live life to the fullest and you’ll breathe a little easier too.

What Are Allergies in Kids?

An allergy is an overreaction of the body’s immune system . When children inhale allergens such as pet dander, pollen , dust mites and mold , their bodies may mistake them for harmful substances. In response, the body releases chemicals like histamine to fight the foreign material. This immune response causes allergy symptoms.

Allergies can affect anyone of any age, but they are more prominent among kids than adults and often become less severe with age. Allergies may be the reason your child is not acting like they usually do. Frankly, they can be no fun. Allergies are not contagious, although it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold.

Signs of Allergies in Kids

If several of the following symptoms continue for a long period or are tied to the seasons, chances are your child is suffering from allergies rather than a common cold or the flu.

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Runny Nose
With allergies, nasal discharge is usually thin, clear and watery.

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Sneezing from allergies often occurs in fits.

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Coughing and Throat Clearing
Allergies can cause swelling or irritation of the airways.

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Nasal Congestion
Swollen nasal passages cause a stuffy nose and “nasally” speech.

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Allergy Eye
Eyes can become itchy, irritated, red or watery.

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Allergic Shiners
Dark, puffy circles under the eyes are caused by swollen nasal cavities.

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Allergic Salute
Children often wipe their runny nose with the palm of their hand in an upward motion.

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Mouth Breathing
Nasal congestion can cause children to breathe through their mouths.

How to Tell if Your Child Has Allergies

Determining what children are allergic to is the first step toward managing their allergy symptoms. Remember; you are not alone. Millions of children suffer from seasonal allergies each year. Pediatricians and allergists are experts and are there to help. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do you have a family history?
Children are much more likely to develop allergies if one or both of their parents are sufferers. While your child might not inherit your particular allergy , family history can help you pinpoint whether your child’s symptoms are allergies or something else.

Do symptoms go away after a week or two?
If your child shows allergy symptoms, but they disappear completely after a week or two, chances are they were suffering from a cold. Allergies tend to stick around for entire seasons, although they can be more or less severe based on pollen count , weather and other factors.

Where do allergies occur?
If respiratory symptoms are worse outdoors than indoors, chances are your child is allergic to pollen from weeds, grass or trees. If symptoms are worse indoors, the likely culprit is dust mites or pet dander. Mold allergies can be triggered indoors or out.

When do allergies occur?
If your child only has allergic reactions in spring, chances are they are suffering from outdoor allergies. Indoor allergies can occur all year round but are more noticeable in colder months when children spend more time inside.

What does my pediatrician say?
Tests from a qualified allergist will help determine the exact cause of your child’s allergies. Once it’s clear what triggers their symptoms, you can take active steps to help your child avoid those substances and develop an effective treatment plan. Allergies are very manageable. Hopefully, your child will be back to normal in no time, enjoying the outdoors and playing to the fullest.

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