The above script is part of the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) radio series 'A Minute for Kids,'
which airs weekdays on WBBM-AM in Chicago, IL.
Hives are a common skin reaction in children. Hives can appear anywhere
on the body, as a bumpy, warm, itchy, pink rash, often with a pale
center. The shape of the bumps can vary, and their size can range from
about one-half inch to several inches in diameter. Hives are usually
caused by allergies - triggered by foods like shellfish, milk or
chocolate. Other triggers include: insect bites, viruses or medicines
such as penicillin. It’s often impossible to determine the exact cause
of hives. Regardless, mild cases often don’t require significant
medical treatment and your pediatrician may simply advise you to give
your child a cool bath or an antihistamine to ease itching. In severe
cases, your child may have immediate swelling in the throat making
speaking or even breathing difficult. If that happens, call 9-1-1 right
away, and then call your pediatrician. The good news - most cases of
hives last less than a week.