Everything You Need To Know About Children Allergies
For around 24 % of children1, allergies are an unfortunate fact of life. Suffering from allergies at home can affect their daily life, and peak allergy season can hinder them from enjoying the great big outdoors.
To help kids live their life to the fullest, learn more about kids allergy symptoms, how to avoid allergens, and the effective treatment plan for children with allergies.
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 these particles for harmful substances. In response, the body releases inflammatory chemicals like histamine to fight off these substances. This immune response is what causes allergy symptoms.
Allergies can affect anyone of any age, but are more prominent among kids. These allergies are not contagious, although it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and the common cold.
Signs of Allergies in Kids
Watch out for these symptoms in kids. If symptoms persist over extended periods of time, or if these symptoms flare up during certain seasons of the year, chances are your kid is suffering from allergies rather than a common cold or the flu2 .
With allergies, nasal discharge is usually thin, clear and watery.
Sneezing from allergies often occurs in fits.
Coughing and Throat-Clearing
Allergies can cause swelling or irritation of the airways.
Swollen nasal passages cause a stuffy nose and “nasal voice.”
Eyes can become itchy, irritated, red or watery.
Dark, puffy circles under the eyes are caused by swollen nasal cavities
Children often wipe their runny nose with the palm of their hand in an upward motion.
Nasal congestion can cause children to breathe through the mouth.
How to Identify Allergies in Kids
Hundreds of children in Singapore suffer from seasonal allergies each year. Determining what children are allergic to is the first step toward managing their allergy symptoms. Ask yourself the following questions3 :
Do you have a family history of allergies?
Children are much more likely to develop allergies if one or both of their parents have allergies too. While your child may not inherit your particular allergy, your family’s relevant medical 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, and the severity of their symptoms may vary, 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 suffering from outdoor allergies and could be 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 both inside and outside the home.
Allergy Testing for Kids
Tests from a qualified allergist will help determine the exact cause of your child’s allergies. Allergy testing is quick, efficient, and effective. These tests can determine if your child is allergic to4:
- Airborne allergens
Mold , pollen , dust mites , and pet dander are common airborne allergens.
- Certain types of food
Nuts, shellfish, soy, and milk are common food allergies.
- Insects and insect bites
Insect droppings and venom or secretions from insect bites can trigger allergic reactions.
Certain medicines, and often penicillin, may trigger symptoms.
- Household chemicals and materials
Detergents and disinfectants may lead to respiratory symptoms or itchy skin rash. Contact with polyester, nylon, spandex, rayon, or rubber materials may lead to itchy skin irritations as well.
During an allergy test, an allergist will introduce a small amount of diluted allergen into the skin. Skin reactions will determine whether your child is allergic to that specific allergen.
Allergy skin testing can determine your child’s reaction to dozens of different allergens. Once tests and experts identify the triggers to your child’s symptoms, you can take active steps to avoid these substances and develop an effective treatment plan with your doctor.4
Allergy Treatment for Kids
Once you’ve determined what your child is allergic to, you can look to the following methods to manage their symptoms.
Oral antihistamines like Clarityn® are often the most effective and hassle-free solution. With non-drowsy formulas designed for kids, Clarityn® Grape Syrup can relieve allergy symptoms like runny nose; itchy and watery eyes; and itchy skin rash or bumps. Nasal hygiene sprays such as ClariCare® can help manage allergy symptoms naturally by flushing out allergens in the nose.
With the right medication and management plan, they can explore and engage with what the world has to offer, allergy-free.
- Allergic Rhinitis: Common in Children in Singapore. Accessed March 4 2022
- Parenting Children with Allergies. Everyday Health. Accessed March 24, 2020
- Children & Allergies. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Accessed March 24, 2020
- Allergy Testing. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed November 10, 2021