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What Can You Give A Baby For Allergies

What Is Benadryl Used For

Common Skin Allergies in Babies & How to Treat Them

Benadryl is readily available as an over the counter medication, used mostly to relieve the symptoms of allergies including watery and red eyes, itchiness, sneezes, and runny noses. Benadryl is the brand name for the drugdiphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, a type of receptor antagonist drug used to treat symptoms of seasonal allergies, environmental or contact allergies, hay fever, and is even used in many cold medicines.

Benadryl comes in many forms and at different dosages for both adults and children. It is often in solid pill form , liquid-filled gel capsules, liquid suspension, chewable tablets, dissolving tablets, dissolving strips, and powder. There are also dye-free varieties for people who may have sensitivities.

In children, Benadryl should generally only be used to treat allergic reactions under the advice of a pediatrician. Alternative treatments should be discussed for its other uses. And as we will discuss later, Benadryl should only be given to older children and can be unsafe for the very young.

Avoiding Milk In Foods

In addition to avoiding fluid milk, your child should not consume any food that contains milk or milk derivatives as an ingredient. Read the ingredient list of all foods to check for dairy products. Avoid all foods that contain milk, butter, casein, cheese, cream, curds, whey, lactalbumin, lactose, sour cream and yogurt. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also requires companies to label milk on packages. Look for the statement “Contains Milk” at the end of the ingredient list or for the word milk in parenthesis following an ingredient. Also, communicate clearly with waitstaff or hosts when eating out of the home with your allergic 1-year-old to avoid milk ingestion.

The Latest On A Simple Way To Help Prevent Food Allergies In Kids

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Want to prevent your child from being allergic to peanuts or eggs? Heres what the latest research says you should do:

Feed them peanut products and eggs when they are babies.

Ive been a pediatrician for more than 25 years, and the standard advice I gave families for years advice recommended by allergy specialists was to hold off on giving babies foods that commonly cause allergic reactions. I told them not to give egg, dairy, seafood, or wheat in their childs first year and to wait until 2 or 3 years old to give peanuts or other nut products.

That was bad advice.

A few years ago, research began to suggest that there was no particular benefit to waiting to give those foods. Children seemed to develop food allergies whether their parents waited or not. And then a year ago, a really remarkable study showed that giving babies peanut products earlier in life made it less likely that they would develop a peanut allergy.

Basically, we had it backwards.

The researchers didnt find decreases in allergies to the other foods, but this is important they didnt find increases, either. Giving those foods was safe.

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Can A Child Have A Fever With Allergies

Allergies dont directly cause fever. If your little one has a fever, its a sign of an infection like a cold, ear infection or sinus infection.

Keep in mind, many people confuse seasonal allergies with a sinus infection . While they may be linked, theyre actually two different conditions:

  • Seasonal allergies are an inflammation of the nasal passages that’s caused by allergens like pollen and grass.
  • A sinus infection often starts as a cold and turns into a bacterial infection, although allergies can also cause sinusitis. Aside from fever, other sinusitis symptoms may include thick, discolored nasal discharge pain and tenderness around the nose, cheeks, eyes or forehead nasal congestion and inflammation and achiness in the jaw.

Does My Baby Have Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

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“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.

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Allergy Symptoms In Babies And Toddlers

A child with allergies may have any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Dark under-eye circles
  • Irritability, restlessness or excessive fatigue

She may also complain about:

  • An itchy, runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy eyes, skin, throat or roof of the mouth
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in the chest
  • Headache
  • Itchy ear canals

If the same symptoms occur around the same time every spring, summer or fall, it may be a sign that your childs body is reacting to outdoor allergens. If you or your partner have a family history of allergies, theres a good chance your little one is predisposed to those seasonal sneezes and sniffles, too.

Can Babies Get Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are usually caused by pollen from weeds, grasses, and trees. These types of allergies are actually very rare in babies, and they aren’t typically seen until children are 2 or 3 years old at the earliest. “Allergies develop after a cumulative exposure to an allergen,” explains Anne Miranowski, M.D., a pediatric allergist in Fairfax, Virginia. “An infant doesn’t spend enough time outdoors to develop a reaction to tree pollen, grass, or ragweed.”

One your little one becomes a toddler, though, the allergies may kick in. Shes at an increased risk if Mom or Dad also has an allergy. Her trigger may be completely different, though if you’re allergic to pollen, your child might react to cats. But even if you and your spouse never itch or sneeze, your kid isn’t necessarily in the clear.

Childhood allergies are on the rise, and many young sufferers have no family history. Some experts think our super-clean, ultra-hygienic lifestyle plays a role. If kids live in an almost-germ-free bubble, the theory goes, their immune system will pick fights with other invaders, like pollen or household particles.

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How Can I Treat My Child’s Allergy

If you suspect your child has an allergy, your GP can refer you to an allergy specialist to carry out a skin-prick allergy test to help confirm this.

The most effective medical allergy treatments for most people are antihistamines, which come in liquid and tablet form. Not all antihistamines are suitable for younger children, so be sure to speak to your pharmacist about which ones are safe to give to a child.

Unlike food allergies, which can be life-threatening, air-related allergies are rarely serious. However, if your baby or young child has difficulty breathing, book an emergency appointment with your GP. If they develop severe breathing difficulties, call 999 for an ambulance. Also be aware that allergies and asthma often come together, and allergies can trigger asthma attacks.

How Is A Food Allergy Diagnosed

Milk allergy in babies and more common baby allergies to be aware of

If your child might have a food allergy, the doctor will ask about:

  • your child’s symptoms
  • how often the reaction happens
  • the time it takes between eating a particular food and the start of symptoms
  • whether any family members have allergies or conditions like eczema and asthma

The doctor will look for any other conditions that could cause the symptoms. For example, if your child seems to have diarrhea after drinking milk, the doctor may check to see if lactose intolerance could be the cause. Celiac disease a condition in which a person cannot tolerate the protein gluten also can cause similar symptoms.

The doctor might refer you to an , who will ask more questions and do a physical exam. The allergist probably will order tests to help make a diagnosis, such as:

  • a skin test. This test involves placing liquid extracts of food allergens on your child’s forearm or back, pricking the skin, and waiting to see if reddish raised spots form within 15 minutes. A positive test to a food only shows that your child might be sensitive to that food.
  • blood tests to check the blood for IgE antibodies to specific foods

If the test results are unclear, the allergist may do a food challenge:

  • During this test, a person slowly gets increasing amounts of the potential food allergen to eat while being watched for symptoms by the doctor. The test must be done in an allergist’s office or hospital with access to immediate medical care and medicines because a life-threatening reaction could happen.

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What Can I Give Baby For Allergies

Can you give Benadryl to a baby?

While it is true that Benadryl is a common treatment used in adults and older children, diphenhydramine but can be dangerous for children under two years old. And after two it should be used carefully with a doctors advice on frequency and dosage. Therefore, Benadryl is not safe for infants as a general rule.

Can you give 6 month old Benadryl?

I usually only recommend Benadryl for infants and actually only recommend it for infants six months or younger, explains Dr. Marks-Cogan. For infants six months or older I usually recommend childrens Zyrtec, which is also an antihistamine.

How can I treat my babys allergies at home?

Salt Water. For an irritated nose, you can spray sterilized salt water up your childs nostrils. It can also help wash away pollen, dust, and dander. It may even help loosen mucus.

The most common symptoms of a food allergy in babies and toddlers are:

  • Belly pain.
  • Red rash around the mouth.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Least Allergenic Foods For Babies

    Now that we know a little more about food allergies in babies, lets take a look at some of the least allergenic foods for babies. According to Dr. Sears, some of these foods include apples, avocados, broccoli, peaches, carrots, asparagus squash, sweet potatoes, rice, oats, chicken, turkey, lamb.


    Homemade applesauce is often the very first food for babies. It is full of vitamin C and naturally sweet, so babies tend to love it! You can try using different varieties of apples to introduce new flavors. Homemade applesauce is also great for mixing with other fruits as well such as mangos and peaches.


    Another great fruit to start with are peaches. They are very sweet and can easily be made into a puree. They are also high in vitamin E, K, folate, and potassium.


    Avocados are another great first food. They are very high in monounsaturated healthy fats, rich in magnesium and fiber, and can be mashed for babies. Babies generally enjoy the mild flavor.


    Broccoli makes for a great first veggie. You can puree broccoli with some chicken broth for added flavor to provide your little one with fiber, folic acid, vitamin K, and C.


    Carrots are often a go-to veggie for parents. They have a mild but sweet flavor that most babies enjoy. Carrots can be puréed for little babies and then steamed and served with chicken or turkey for older babies ready for finger foods. They are rich in beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, and potassium.


    Sweet Potatoes

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    Understanding Allergies In Babies

    Before we jump into the foods you will want to watch out for, there are some surprising statistics about infant food allergies that are important for every parent to know about. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education organization, 1 in 13 children have food allergies, and 30% of them are allergic to more than one food.

    Food allergies in children are also skyrocketing. The CDC has estimated that food allergies in children have jumped up by 50% from the years 1997-2011. Thats a massive jump and something we need to be paying more attention to.

    Many parents also wonder if their babies will outgrow their allergies. While many pediatricians tell parents that babies generally outgrow allergies to milk, the FARE states that allergies to milk, eggs, wheat, and soy are generally resolved in childhood. Still, children are starting to outgrow these allergies at a much slower rate than what had previously been documented. This means that many children over the age of five have still not outgrown these allergies. Allergies to foods like peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish are generally not outgrown, and the child will likely have an allergy to these foods lifelong.

    What Can You Give An Infant With Pollen Allergies

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    Pollen allergies, also known as hay fever, don’t normally affect infants. The way that allergies work is that once your body is exposed to an allergen and registers it as dangerous, it will continue to have the same response thereafter. Babies don’t usually get enough exposure to trigger their immune systems. Most commonly, children don’t start suffering from hay fever until they’re seven years old, and hay fever in babies under two is considered uncommon. So if you suspect your baby might be suffering from pollen allergies, the first step is to determine whether they’re actually pollen allergies or whether the culprit is something else.

    Pollen allergies usually kick in between early spring and late summer the symptoms are similar to those of a cold: runny nose, sneezing, congestion, itchy or watery eyes. The trick in diagnosing pollen allergies is to note when the symptoms occur. If they bother your baby for a week or two and then go away, they’re probably not indicative of hay fever. However, if they bother your baby during the summer on sunny days and last for the season, there’s a much better chance your baby has pollen allergies. If the symptoms are year-round, that’s also probably not a pollen allergy since trees, grass and ragweed release their pollen in warmer months. Your doctor can help with the diagnosis.

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    What Are The Most Common Food Allergens

    A child could be allergic to any food, but these eight common allergens account for 90% of all reactions in kids:

  • fish
  • shellfish
  • In general, most kids with food allergies outgrow them. Of those who are allergic to milk, about 80% will eventually outgrow the allergy. About two-thirds with allergies to eggs and about 80% with a wheat or soy allergy will outgrow those by the time they’re 5 years old. Other food allergies may be harder to outgrow.

    Seasonal And Indoor Allergies In Infants

    Seasonal and indoor allergies in infants are usually less severe and easier to care for, and they can be detected by the presence of the most common signs of allergies.

    One of the first things you can do to alleviate your infants seasonal or indoor allergies, before trying a baby allergy medicine, is to remove the allergen. This might include removing fresh flowers or plants from your home, keeping windows closed during allergy season, keeping your home exceptionally clean, switching to a new perfume or fragranced beauty product, cleaning dust-attractant pillows or blankets, or investigating the possibility of mold or mildew in your home.

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    Signs Of A Severe Allergic Reaction

    Symptoms of a severe food allergic reaction can include:

    • Swelling of the tongue
    • Swelling or tightness of the throat
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Change in voice or cry
    • Pale appearance
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling floppy

    When the symptoms of a food allergic reaction are severe, and involve more than one organ system, this is known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

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    Adults arent the only ones who suffer with sneezes and watery eyes during allergy season. In fact, roughly 8.4 percent of children are diagnosed each year with the symptoms known as hay fever , according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

    Children frequently experience the same allergy problems as adultsmany of our patients are children. However, there are several safety issues that must be considered before administering any type of allergy medicine to younger children, particularly to infants.

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    Seek Medical Attention For Serious Symptoms

    If your baby is acting normally but has a mild rash or some hives, you could give your baby an antihistamine. Diphenhydramine can provide comfort, but second-generation antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine last longer and are less likely to make your baby sleepy, Dr. Tam says.

    If your baby is vomiting, coughing, having difficulty swallowing , or acting very sleepy, seek immediate medical attention. Try to get a doctor on the phone or go to the emergency department, Dr. Tam says.

    Signs Of Baby Food Allergies: Mild To Moderate Reactions

    In babies and young children, the two most common signs of a food allergy reaction are:

    • Hives
    • Vomiting

    Hives could show up anywhere on your babys body.

    For eczema babies: Hives from a food allergy reaction are different from the red scaly rash that eczema causes. Learn how to tell the difference between a food allergy reaction and eczema here.

    Other signs of a mild to moderate food allergy reaction include:

    • Swelling of the face, lips, and eyes
    • Itchy, watery eyes
    • Itching
    • Skin redness

    Symptoms of a food allergy reaction usually start seconds to minutes after your baby eats a food theyre allergic to. They almost always start within 2 hours of eating a problem food.

    Keep in mind that symptoms of a food allergy reaction can vary from one reaction to the next. So, you cant predict what kind of reaction your baby will have each time they eat a food theyre allergic to.

    Most importantly, remember that a mild to moderate reaction could quickly turn severe. This is true even if your baby has never had a food allergy reaction before.

    Important to note: If your baby has been diagnosed with a food allergy, they are at a higher risk of developing other food allergies so it is still important to continue introducing other allergenic foods.

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