How To Prevent Allergies During Pregnancy
Wondering what you can do for allergies during pregnancy besides taking medicine? In general, the best defense is a good offense. Try these tips to prevent or alleviate allergy symptoms while you’re expecting:
- Stay away from people who are smoking. Smoke can make allergies worse, and exposure to second-hand smoke during pregnancy isn’t good for you or your baby.
- If youre allergic to pollen: Try to stay inside where theres filtered, air-conditioned air. If you do go outside, try wearing wraparound sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. When you come back inside, take off your shoes, wash your hands and face, and change clothes so the pollen doesn’t stay with you. Showering and washing your hair before you go to sleep can also help relieve nighttime symptoms.
- If youre allergic to dust: Heres your excuse to get someone else to do the cleaning for you! Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, a wet mop or a sweeper to avoid stirring up dust. A microfiber cloth is better than a traditional feather duster. Also try to stay away from attics, basements and other musty places.
- If youre allergic to pets: Let your dog- and cat-owning friends know of your allergy before you drop by, so they have time to make arrangements .
Allergies Vs Nasal Congestion During Pregnancy
Expectant noses are, unfortunately, stuffy noses. Nasal congestion usually starts sometime in the second trimester, as high levels of estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow throughout your body including in your nose causing mucus membranes to swell and soften. This can make you as stuffed up as if you had a cold or an allergy, resulting in nosebleeds during pregnancy and/or postnasal drip that may make you cough or even gag at night.
So how can you tell the difference between allergies and a bad case of pregnancy congestion? If you’re suffering from allergies, you’ll most likely experience the additional symptoms mentioned above along with the stuffiness and coughing. If noticeable itchiness and sneezing aren’t plaguing you, it could just be the hormone-related congestion of pregnancy. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor.
Causes And Diagnosis Of Allergic Rhinitis In Children
While nasal allergy is common in adults and adolescents, the same isn’t true for very young children. This essentially comes down to two things: development and exposure.
An allergy, by definition, is related to a previous immune responseone in which an immune cell is produced to defend against a perceived threat. The antibody remains in the body thereafter, ready to respond if the threat returns.
When it does, the immune system can sometimes overreact, triggering a cascade of symptoms commonly associated with an allergy.
But babies and toddlers don’t yet have a fully developed immune system, meaning their bodies don’t reliably respond in this way just yet. Furthermore, their young age typically means they have had fewer opportunities to be exposed to allergens.
When cases do occur in children, they are typically in those over age 4. Though uncommon, it is possible for younger kids to develop allergic rhinitis too.
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Diagnosing Allergies In Babies And Toddlers
Keep a diary of your little one’s symptoms — what they are and when they happen — to help the doctor figure out what kind of allergy your child has and how to treat it.
You may need to take them to an allergist . They’ll ask about symptoms and personal and family health history. Be sure to tell them when symptoms happen, like after meals or during specific seasons.
What Time Of Year Is It
In the spring, pollens from trees and flowers are everywhere. If your child is sneezing, wheezing and dripping, blame the pollens.
In the summer, mold and insect bites can also trigger allergic reactions. The hot months are also marked by âfood pollen syndrome.â Thatâs when fruits and vegetables carry allergens that can set off symptoms in your mouth.
Also, if your child is having symptoms at different times of the day, “itâs consistent with allergies,â McMorris says. âI always try to relate it to what kids are doing.â
Say your little one wakes up congested, for instance — they may be reacting to dust mites, dander from the family dog or cat, or indoor molds. If they donât want to eat for a few hours after waking up, it may be allergy-related nasal drainage dampening their appetite. If the itchy eyes and sneeziness tend to come on when they are at soccer practice in the morning, keep in mind that that’s when plants tend to pollinate.
When itâs winter time and your childâs eyes are fine, though, it’s more likely that a virus is to blame for their symptoms, McMorris says. Still, youâll need to ask your pediatrician to find out for sure. You may also need a referral to a doctor who specializes in allergies.
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How To Help A Child With Seasonal Allergies
There are ways to help your child if you discover that they struggle with seasonal allergies.
- You dont have to over-worry if your baby suffers from seasonal allergies or starts giving them a lot of medicine to fix this problem.
- Sometimes the best treatments are more at handy than you think. If you want to avoid seasonal allergies, you should avoid spending too much time outside with your child when they are a toddler.
- But you just have to avoid outdoors time in the morning and evening as that is when they might catch most of the pollen.
- Also, it is recommended to stay inside during windy days. Furthermore, a saline solution for their nose will help them alleviate the discomfort.
- You can make a saline solution by mixing eight ounces of boiled and cooled water with one teaspoon of non-iodized salt.
- Keep your child hydrated at all times, as this is one of the best weapons against allergies but also other health conditions.
- Give your child a warm bath or shower once a week, as this will help relieve the symptoms of allergies as well.
The time that allergies show up in babies varies according to different factors and the type of allergy you are talking about. If you dont expose your baby to pollen, they will not be at risk of developing seasonal allergies in the first years of life.
On the other hand, if you are curious about indoor allergies such as those caused by dust or pet dander, these can appear as soon as your baby reaches 6 months old.
How Old Is Your Child
âIt is rare you will develop asthma . Nothing is impossible, but itâs much more unlikely,â he says.
You can get allergies at any point in your life. But outdoor allergies tend to arrive between ages 4 and 6, McMorris says. Indoor allergies can start as early as age 3, but not always. For instance, âa child can take a while to develop allergies to a pet,â he says.
It may be time for an allergy test if the symptoms seem to be worse when your kid is at home and you have a furry pet.
Also, does your child have eczema? This itchy skin condition often goes hand in hand with allergies. And if your child has eczema and allergies, and they are younger than 6, âthereâs a high probabilityâ they will get asthma, Martinez says.
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What Months Is Allergy Season
Allergy season is serious and the best way to prepare is to know when it arrives. Keep in mind, your season depends on your sensitivities and where you live. For example, in southern states allergy season can begin in January all the way to November. If you deal with hay fever, it usually starts in the late winter or spring. And if ragweed pollen is your kryptonite, beware of the summer and early fall.
Can Babies Have Season Allergies
While rare in their first year, infants can indeed develop seasonal allergies. Babies a year and older and toddlers are more commonly affected by baby seasonal allergies. It can be difficult to tell when a baby is suffering from seasonal allergies because, unlike an adult or even an older child, your baby cant tell you how theyre feeling. Its up to you to watch out for baby allergies and signs your infant has seasonal allergies.
Internal changes due to baby allergies refer to your childs emotional and mood changes. A child suffering from infant seasonal allergies is more likely to be irritable. They also may be less alert than normal. You know your baby better than anyone and are the best source for knowing when your baby is acting strange. Your baby might be extra tired and lethargic while having trouble staying asleep when put down. Its also essential to pay attention to when your baby experiences symptoms. If your baby sneezes and gets red, itchy eyes when you take them for a walk or wakes up with these symptoms, you can better pinpoint the allergen of issue. For example, pollen is typically the culprit for babies who experience symptoms after time outdoors, and dust is a common allergen causing babies to wake up with allergy symptoms. If you notice that seasonal allergies have begun to affect your babys skin by making it red, dry and flaky, we recommend our oogiebear , which can help nourish their sensitive skin.
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How Allergies Are Tested
Its time you take control of your child’s life and end the suffering. Doctors for this profession are called allergist. They are experts and will recommend the perfect method for your child to make the correct diagnosis. If the tests are positive, they will give you therapeutic intervention, such as diet modification, medication, and allergy shots. You will also be given avoidance strategies for your child to reduce the chance of getting any signs.
This whole process will take place in the doctor’s office and usually involves answering questions about your child’s medical history, family history of any allergies, allergy sensitivity test, and a physical examination. There are three types of allergy testing: elimination tests, blood tests, and skin tests to trace allergens. Testing will help you understand your child, what to avoid, and what to do in case of a reaction.
Allergies And Colds Can Look Similar
One of the toughest parts about baby allergies is knowing if your baby has a cold or if they do actually have seasonal allergies. According to What to Expect, many parents can misdiagnose seasonal allergies with a cold since they have similar symptoms.
For example, both a cold and allergies can have your little one experience a runny nose and a cough. So if you are unsure if your baby has a cold or seasonal allergy problem then you are going to want to bring them to the doctor for a professional opinion.
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Summer Is The Time For Playing Outside
All parents are glad to see their children having fun outside once the warm temperatures return. Children love to run around touching everything to explore their environment and learn more about it. However, this environment may contain substances that trigger allergic reactions. These substances can be seen by the body as invaders we call them allergens.
Your child may be allergic to the substances he or she breathes: pollen, mold, dust, animal hair, feathers, cigarette smoke, etc. Other products can cause irritation on contact with your child: soaps, tissues, plants . And some medication and foods can cause an allergic reaction as soon as your child ingests them. In the case of seasonal allergies, these include pollen from trees, bushes, grass and ragweed which, more often than not, causes a problem.
If your children display the following symptoms during the summer period, they may be suffering from seasonal allergies:
- runny nose
- itchy or tingling sensation in the throat
- nasal congestion
- conjunctivitis , red and itchy eyes)
But dont panic, because, contrary to many childrens infections, seasonal allergies are not contagious.
How To Soothe Kids Spring Allergies
Spring has sprung and so have seasonal allergies. Heres how to help your child find relief from sneezing, a runny nose, and other bothersome symptoms.
The beginning of spring brings blooming flowers, warmer weather, and fun times outdoors. Unfortunately, for many kids, it can also bring sneezing, runny noses, itchy throats, congestion, coughing, and watery eyes. If thats the case for your child, they likely have seasonal allergies.
Though seasonal allergies can be triggered in summer and fall, as well, the abundance of pollinating trees in the spring can make them especially common in March, April, and May. Though its impossible to completely avoid seasonal allergy triggers, there are a number of simple steps you can take to decrease your childs exposure to allergens and soothe their symptoms.
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Its Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
You childs allergy symptoms may be much like cold symptoms: Runny nose, clear drainage, sneezing, itchy eyes or throat. If its a cold, your child may feel sick and not have much energy. But with allergies, he or she may feel fine except for the itchy eyes and runny nose.
What Can Make Allergies Worse
- Cigarette smoke
- Smoke from wood stoves or fireplaces
The Difference Between Seasonal Allergies And A Cold
If the symptoms sound just like a , youre right. It can be challenging to tell the difference between a cold and a seasonal allergy. recommends observing when the symptoms occur. If your childs nose starts running at the same time every year, for example, around March or later, and often without a fever, a seasonal allergy could be the cause.
In addition, if it always seems to occur without many of the typical symptoms of colds that do not occur with allergies, such as muscle aches, its most likely a cold. The other factor to examine is length of time the symptoms last. A cold might go away in a week or two, but allergies will typically last longer.
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Is There A Fever
But âyou donât get fever with allergies,â even though they’re often called âhay fever,â says Marc McMorris, MD. He’s a pediatric allergist and immunologist with C.S. Mott Childrenâs Hospital.
How To Tell Seasonal Nasal Allergies From The Common Cold
- Symptoms happen during pollen season
- Had the same symptoms during the same month last year
- Hay fever symptoms last 6-8 weeks for each pollen. .
- Allergies: itchy eyes and nose. Not seen with colds.
- Colds: fever and/or sore throat. Not seen with allergies
- Both: runny nose and watery eyes. Can also have a cough with both, but less common with allergies.
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Allergies Vs Colds In Babies And Toddlers
Colds and allergies in babies and toddlers are actually pretty hard to tell apart. Both can cause runny noses, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, congestion and headache.
So how do you distinguish cold symptoms vs. allergies? Take this quick test:
- How would you describe the consistency and color of your little one’s mucus?
- Watery and clear
- Does your child have a fever?
If you answered mostly “2,” your child likely has a cold or other respiratory infection. If most of your answers were “1,” you might be dealing with an allergy.
There are a few other telltale signs that help you to differentiate cold symptoms vs. allergies:
If your childs symptoms have been going on for a while, are getting more severe and/or are causing other things like moodiness, fatigue, headaches and general discomfort, make an appointment with the pediatrician. That way youll be sure to get a proper diagnosis of whether your child has a cold or allergies, along with recommendations for kid-safe medications or treatments.
Whats Up With Their Buddies
Your childâs friends could be a big clue. Have you noticed any of them sniffling lately? Kids tend to pass colds and other illnesses back and forth.
âMost parents know who their kids have been around. We know whatâs going through the community,â McMorris says.
If other children aren’t sick around your child, then you may have to think of other issues that might be causing their symptoms.
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Look At The Air Quality Before Going Outside With Your Little One
If you know what is triggering your babys seasonal allergies then you can be more prepared to help them handle it. Healthline states that if your little one is allergic to pollen then you are going to want to look at the air quality before you go outside with your baby. Checking your local news and weather reports will tell you what the air quality is like and if it is a day where there is going to be high pollen in the air. So this can help you plan when you want to take your baby outside to play and what days you should stay in the house.
Does My Baby Have Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
“If you take your baby for a walk outside and often notice a runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and trouble breathing, your baby may have an allergy,” says Renee Matthews, M.D., an asthma and allergy expert in Chicago. But kids aren’t typically bothered by outdoor triggers like grass and ragweed until after age 3, so the cause might be something else entirely.
Also, babies can be bothered by household allergens such as mold, dust mites, pet dander, and cockroaches. Nasal allergies affect as many as 40 percent of children, and symptoms can start as early as 6 months. Pay close attention to when your child’s sneezing or itching peaks: This can clue you in to what’s responsible. For example, dust mites live in bedding and furniture, so if your child is allergic to dust mites, she’ll probably wake up with itchy eyes and a runny nose after inhaling them overnight. Or if your baby can’t tolerate pet dander, you might notice that her symptoms erupt when you’re visiting Grandma and her cats.