Preventing Children’s Allergies

Allergies can flare up with the onset of triggers such as dust mites, pollen from trees, grasses, or mold. When this happens, your child can get a runny nose, itchy eyes, or a sore throat. In more severe cases, allergy reactions can upset his or her stomach and make your child feel ill. It is no fun — and it is one of the biggest reasons why kids miss school. Fortunately, there are steps that may delay or possibly prevent common allergies from developing.

Prevention Tips for Common Children’s Allergies

Dust Mites. Some airborne substances may trigger allergy or asthma symptoms. Reducing contact with these substances early in life may delay or prevent allergy or asthma symptoms. If your child is at high risk of developing allergies, use zippered, allergen-impermeable covers on pillows and mattresses and wash bedding in hot water weekly. Indoor humidity should be kept below 50%. If possible carpets and upholstered furniture should be removed from your infant’s bedroom.
Pets and Other Animals. The relationship between early life exposure to animals and the development of allergies is dependent on many factors. Some research has suggested that children exposed to animals early in life are more likely to develop allergies while others have suggested that early exposure to animals (dogs and cats in particular) may actually prevent children from developing allergies. Before introducing a pet to your child, talk with your physician to determine what is best for you and your family.

Tobacco Smoke. Exposure to tobacco before or after birth increases the change of your child wheezing during infancy. Exposing children to secondhand smoke also increases the development of asthma and other chronic respiratory illnesses.

Peanuts and Tree Nuts. The number of kids with peanut allergy has increased in recent years — with only 20 percent of children who outgrow peanut allergies in their lifetime. If you discover your child is allergic to peanuts, it is best to eliminate them from his or her diet because of the severe reaction. If you would like to prevent peanut allergy, feed your baby peanuts soon after you start solids. Early introduction of peanuts may offer protection against developing an allergy.

Eggs. Some kids are sensitive to any egg exposure. Others can tolerate eggs if they’re heated or baked. Continued exposure to foods with eggs baked inside could help build up tolerance over time.

Diary. One of the most common allergies in children is sensitivity to cow’s milk. Fortunately, it is also one of the most commonly outgrown allergens among children by the time they’re 12 years old. You can try reintroducing milk and milk products every few months to help build up immunity and see if your child can tolerate them.

Additional Health Tips

Breast-Feeding. Breastfeeding for at least four to six months strengthens a child’s immune system, and it helps him or her avoid these infections, and in the long term, allergies and asthma. If breastfeeding is not in practice, use hypoallergenic formula. Both have properties to strengthen the immune system while delaying or preventing atopic dermatitis and milk allergy.

Maternal Diet. Restricting a mother’s diet during pregnancy or while breastfeeding does not show to help prevent the development of allergies.

Solid Foods. Egg, diary, peanut, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish should be introduced gradually between four to six months of age, and more importantly, after less allergenic foods have been tolerated. Delaying the introduction of these foods may increase your baby’s risk of developing allergies.

Schedule a Consultation

If you believe your child may have allergies or asthma, it is important to seek the right medical help. An allergist/immunologist is a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma and other diseases of the immune system. Testing done by allergist can give you precise information about what your child is and is not allergic to. If your child is allergic to any substances, you and your allergist can develop a treatment plan to manage or even get rid of your child’s symptoms.

To get you started, discuss and review your treatment options in order find the perfect option for you. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shukla today, for treatment options.

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