The following tips are from the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt the tips or use them in their
entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source: Allergies
and Asthma: What Every Parent Needs to Know, by the American Academy of
TO SUSPECT AN ALLERGY
Here are some common clues that could lead you to suspect
your child may have an allergy:
chronic cold-like symptoms that last more than a week or two, or develop
at about the same time every year. These could include an itchy, runny
nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, throat clearing, and itchy, watery
wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and other respiratory
symptoms may be a sign of asthma. Coughing may be an isolated symptom;
symptoms that increase at night or with exercise are suspicious for
red, itchy, dry, sometime scaly rashes in the creases of the elbows
and/or knees, or on the back of the neck, buttocks, wrists, or ankles.
that occur repeatedly after eating a particular food that may include
hives, swelling of
face or extremities, gagging, coughing or wheezing, vomiting or
significant abdominal pain.
tingling sensations in the mouth, throat and/or ears during certain
times of year or after eating certain foods, particularly fresh (raw) fruits. Typically, however, cooked forms of
the food are tolerated.
ALLERGENS ON THE HOME FRONT
(microscopic organisms found in bedding, upholstered furniture and
carpet as well as other places)
animal allergens (dogs, cats, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, etc.)
allergens (cockroaches, mice, rats)
(trees, grasses, weeds)
Molds and fungi
(including molds too small to be seen with the naked eye)
(cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish)
TO MANAGE ALLERGIC NASAL SYMPTOMS
allergy symptoms can be caused by a variety of environmental allergens
including indoor allergens such as dust mites, pets, and pests as well
as outdoor allergens such as pollens.
Molds, which can be found indoors and outdoors, can also trigger
nasal allergy symptoms.
testing should be performed to determine whether your child is allergic
to any environmental allergens.
important step in managing allergy symptoms is avoidance of the
allergens that trigger the symptoms.
child is allergic to pets, the addition of pets to your family would not
be recommended. If your child has allergy symptoms and is allergic to a
pet that lives in your home, the only way to have a significant impact
on your child’s exposure to pet allergens is to find the pet a new home.
child is allergic to pests present in the home, professional
extermination, sealing holes and cracks that serve as entry points for
pests, storing foods in plastic containers with lids and meticulous
clean up of food remains can help to eliminate pests and reduce allergen
congregate where moisture is retained, and food for them (human skin
scales) is plentiful. They are especially numerous in bedding, upholstered
furniture, and rugs. Padded furnishings such as mattresses, box springs,
and pillows should be encased in allergen-proof, zip-up covers, which
are available through catalogs and specialized retailers. Wash linens
weekly and other bedding, such as blankets, every 1 to 2 weeks in hot
water. (The minimum temperature to kill mites is 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you set your water heater higher than 120 degrees, the recommended
temperature to avoid accidental scald burns, take care if young children
are present in the home.)
child is allergic to outdoor allergens, it can be helpful to use air
conditioners when possible. Showering or bathing at the end of the day
to remove allergens from body surfaces and hair can also be helpful. For
patients with grass pollen allergy, remaining indoors when grass is
mowed and avoiding playing in fields of tall grass may be helpful
(during grass pollen season). Children with allergies to molds should
avoid playing in piles of dead leaves in the fall. Pets tracking in and out
of the house can also bring pollen and mold indoors.
MEDICATIONS TO CONTROL SYMPTOMS
child's allergy treatment should start with your pediatrician, who may refer
you to a pediatric allergy specialist for additional evaluations and
Antihistamines – Ones taken by mouth can help
with itchy watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing, as well as itchy skin
and hives. Some types may cause drowsiness.
- Highly effective for allergy symptom control and are widely used to
stop chronic symptoms. Safe to use in children over long periods of
time. Must be used daily for
- Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may be recommended to reduce your
child's allergy symptoms. Allergy shots are prescribed only for patients with
confirmed allergy. If allergen avoidance and medications are not successful,
allergy shots for treatment of respiratory allergies to pollens, dust mites,
cat and dog dander, and molds can help decrease the need for daily
MANAGING ECZEMA (ATOPIC DERMATITIS):
eczema, particularly when severe, may be associated with food allergies
(e.g., milk, egg, peanut).
© 2013 - American Academy of Pediatrics
Abstracted from Allergies and Asthma: What Every Parent
Needs to Know, 2nd Edition.
Available from: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/bookstore/Pages/Guide-to-Your-Childs-Allergies-and-Asthma.aspxFor
more information on allergies and asthma, visit the AAP Section on Allergy
and Immunology web site at www.aap.org/sections/allergy