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What To Do For Baby Allergies

Can Babies Get Seasonal Allergies

Formula Shortage Hard on Babies With Severe 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.

Introducing Allergenic Foods To Babies

Introducing food allergens doesnt have to be terrifying. You can start with a scant amount of the allergen to minimize any possible reaction and slowly work up to larger servings. If you are very anxious to introduce allergens to your baby, make an appointment with a pediatric allergist to discuss the possibility of pursuing a supervised challenge. Even if allergy testing or an oral challenge isnt necessary, the allergist can offer valuable counseling and help develop a plan for dietary introduction.

Common Questions About First Aid For A Baby Or Child Who Is Having A Severe Allergic Reaction

How will I know if it is a severe allergic reaction?

The baby or child may have mild allergies, resulting in itchy skin and eyes.

If they have a severe allergic reaction, they might also have symptoms such as swelling of their tongue or neck and difficulty breathing.

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that makes it difficult for a baby or child to breathe.

If a doctor identifies a baby or child as being at risk of anaphylaxis, they may give them an auto-injector. An auto-injector contains medication that helps to ease the symptoms in an emergency.

Can I do anything to prevent an allergic reaction?

If a baby or child has a known allergy, you can prevent a severe allergic reaction by keeping them away from the cause of the allergy.

How will I know if my baby or child is at risk of anaphylactic shock or has a severe allergy?

It is likely you wont know your baby or child has a severe allergy until they come into contact with the thing they are allergic to.

For all children with a severe allergy there will be a first time. This may be very frightening.

How can I get an insect sting out of a baby or childs skin?

If the sting is still in the skin, brush or scrape it off sideways with your fingernail or a credit card.

After the sting has been removed, apply something cold to the area to minimise the pain and swelling.

Be aware that this may not reduce the risk of an allergic reaction for a baby or child with a severe allergy.

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Pediatric Allergy Treatment In Georgia

As parents, we understand that your number one goal is to make sure your child is healthy and happy. At Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, our goal is to help you detect your little ones allergy symptoms and find an individualized treatment plan that works from the start.

To book a new appointment with our pediatric board-certified specialists, contact us online or over the phone at: 727-3142

What Are Food Allergies

Will My Baby Have An Allergic Reaction to Ready, Set, Food!?

An allergy is the immune system’s response to something it doesn’t like. For example, some people are allergic to dust or pollen and get itchy eyes or a runny nose when exposed to these allergens. With food allergies, most people react with digestive problems, hives, or breathing problems.

The human body treats allergens as invaders and produces antibodies to try to fight off the invasion. Once these antibodies enter the bloodstream, the body reactsâhence the term “allergic reaction,” which you can read about more here.

Thankfully, food allergies are rare in children, with fewer than 8 percent of those under the age of 3 having them. Many of these children also outgrow their food allergies over time.

Still, because the bodyâs reaction can be severe if your baby does indeed have a food allergy, itâs important to know what an allergic reaction can look like and what to do if you suspect your baby has a food allergy.

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What Does A Food Allergy Rash Look Like On A Baby

What does a food allergy rash look like? A food allergy rash is raised, very itchy, and usually red or pink. It creates red, raised bumps on the skin. These bumps are usually rounded, and often have red flares around them.

How long does an allergic reaction last in babies?

After eliminating allergenic foods, it may take between 1 and 2 weeks for your babys allergy symptoms to subside.

What can I give my 6 month old for an allergic reaction?

Benadryl or Zyrtec is only recommended for infants who are having a mild reaction such as localized hives or redness. Benadryl or Zyrtec will not stop anaphylaxis from happening. Only epinephrine can stop anaphylaxis.

When should you worry about a baby rash?

Contact your doctor immediately if your child has the following: A rash that doesnt get better after a few days or with over-the counter treatment. Fever with a rash. Painful urination with a rash.

Introducing Allergens To Baby

In 2015, a groundbreaking study demonstrated that the early introduction of peanuts to at-risk babies could reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by as much as 81%. In other words, delaying the introduction of common allergens may increase the likelihood of allergies developing.1 As such, allergists and medical institutions now recommend introducing allergens before a babys first birthday.2

Just starting solids? See our guides on starting solids and check out our virtual course.

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How Can I Manage My Baby’s Allergy


  • Keep your baby indoors, with doors and windows shut, as much as possible.
  • When you do need to take your baby outside, avoid grassy areas such as parks and fields. You could also invest in some wraparound sunglasses to protect your baby’s eyes.
  • After taking your baby outside, give them a bath and change their clothes when you come back in.
  • Dry your baby’s clothes, blankets and towels indoors .

Dust mites

  • Clean soft toys, curtains and upholstery regularly. Where possible, wash at a high temperature otherwise, vacuum thoroughly.
  • Wipe down hard surfaces with a damp cloth to trap dust, instead of dry dusting which can throw dust up into the air.
  • Consider investing in some allergy-proof covers for your baby’s bedding.
  • Consider buying a vacuum cleaner that’s fitted with a HEPA filter. This helps to trap more dust than regular vacuum cleaners.
  • If the above tips don’t help, you could consider redecorating with non-fabric floors, furniture and window coverings, which won’t trap as much dust .

PetsFood and drink

Learn First Aid For A Baby Or Child Who Is Having A Severe Allergic Reaction

Common Skin Allergies in Babies & How to Treat Them

1. The baby or child may develop a rash, itchiness or swelling on their hands, feet or face. Their breathing may slow down.

They may also vomit or have diarrhoea.

Common causes of allergic reactions are pollen, stings and bites, latex and some food items, such as nuts, shellfish, eggs or dairy products.

2. Call 999 if you see these symptoms.

They need urgent medical assistance because an allergic reaction can affect a baby or child very quickly, and is potentially very serious. The reaction may cause swelling of their airway, causing them to stop breathing.

3. If they have a known allergy, use their auto-injector.

If they have a known allergy, they may have been prescribed an auto-injector. Follow the guidance on the packaging.

4. Reassure the baby or child and make them as comfortable as possible while you wait for the ambulance.

Tell the ambulance crew if the auto-injector has been used.

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What Medications Can Babies And Toddlers Take For Allergies

You may be able to give your baby or toddler over-the-counter medicine to treat their allergies. But it’s critical that you don’t administer the drug without reading the dosage instructions carefully and talking to a healthcare provider beforehand. Additionally, if your little one takes two or more OTC medicines, make sure the active ingredients are not the same you could end up giving them too much of a certain drug.

If OTC medicine doesn’t work and symptoms persist, see a provider. Depending on the allergy, they may suggest antihistamines or a nasal steroid spray and offer you a prescription.

If your child is really plagued by environmental, pet dander, or insect allergies, an allergist might suggest allergy shots , but typically not until 5 years old. There are occasional exceptions for younger children, such as kids with severe asthma or life-threatening anaphylaxis.

Allergy shots are given in the doctor’s office and contain small doses of the offending allergen â like pollen, mites, or dander â that help your child’s body get used to the substance over time. Shots are typically given twice a week at first, and then gradually at longer intervals until your child has a shot about once very 4 weeks. Allergy symptoms usually improve after several months.

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

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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Early Allergen Introduction Is Crucial To Reduce Your Baby’s Food Allergy Risk But What Else Can You Do To Prevent Food Allergies Once You’ve Already Started Early Introduction Here Are 6 More Ways To Help Prevent Food Allergies In Your Baby Backed By Recent Research

Introducing your baby to allergy-causing foods, like peanut, egg, and milk, is the most important step you can take to reduce their risk of developing a food allergy in the future.

But many parents who have already started early allergen introduction wonder if there is anything else they can do to reduce their baby’s food allergy risk. Today, we’ll break down 6 other ways to help prevent food allergies, beyond introducing foods, that are backed by scientific research.

Can Babies Outgrow Food Allergies

Baby land

Will my baby or toddler always be allergic to certain foods? Maybe not. The majority of babies and toddlers who have milk, egg, wheat and soy allergies outgrow them by the time theyre 5 years old.

And surprisingly, about 20 percent of kids with peanut allergies once thought to be lifelong outgrow those too. Shellfish allergies, however, usually last a lifetime.

Never experiment on your own to determine whether your child is no longer allergic: Your pediatrician or pediatric allergist can do a supervised feeding test to make a diagnosis.

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Treatment For Mild To Moderate Allergic Reactions

The way you treat an allergic reaction depends on how severe the reaction is.

Antihistamines Giving your child a dose of antihistamine is appropriate if your child is having a mild to moderate allergic reaction, including a skin rash, tingling mouth or swelling.

In fact, having some antihistamine syrup in your home first aid kit or in your bag is a good idea this way its handy when you need it. You dont need a prescription to buy antihistamines in Australia.

Its best to use antihistamine that wont make your child sleepy. Your pharmacist or GP can advise you on the most appropriate brand for your child.

Other treatments for allergies Depending on the kind of allergic reaction your child has, they might need other treatments. For example:

  • If your child has eczema, they might need corticosteroid ointments.
  • If your child has hay fever, they might need corticosteroid nose sprays.
  • If your child has asthma, they might need an inhaler like Ventolin or Asmol.

Your doctor can also give your child an ASCIA action plan. The action plan usually includes important information on how to manage allergic reactions and which medications your child should use.

Children who have persistent, troublesome and severe allergies to insect stings or bites, house dust mites and grass pollen might have immunotherapy to reduce their symptoms. Immunotherapy isnt currently available for food allergies in Australia.

Are Food Allergy And Food Intolerance The Same

Food allergies and food intolerance are not the same.

An allergy involves the body’s immune system and can be serious. An intolerance is a reaction that doesnt involve the immune system. If you have a food intolerance, you may experience unpleasant symptoms after eating the problem food, but you will not have a dangerous reaction.

A doctor can arrange allergy tests to diagnose food allergies. Food intolerances will not show up on these tests.

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What Are The Most Common Allergy Triggers In Babies And Toddlers

Common allergy triggers in babies and young children include:

  • Dust mites. Microscopic organisms that thrive on human skin flakes, dust mites affect nearly 85 percent of allergy sufferers.
  • Animal dander. These white, flaky specks are made up of skin cells shed by cats, dogs, and other furry animals.
  • Mold. Fungi are often found in wet, damp places, such as bathrooms and basements, or outdoors in humid climates. Mold spores can also grow on Christmas trees and trigger allergy symptoms, as well.
  • Pollen. A fine powder produced by trees, grasses, and weeds, pollen does not often affect babies, though allergies often surface in toddlers and preschool-age children.
  • Food. Cow’s milk, eggs, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, soy, wheat, and sesame cause the vast majority of food allergies in young children. Note that a food allergy, because it involves the immune system, is different from a food intolerance or sensitivity. Learn more about food allergies in babies.
  • Insects. Stings from bees and wasps, for example, can cause a serious allergic reaction in some children.
  • Medicines. Antibiotics are common allergens, along with some over-the-counter medicines.
  • Chemicals. Certain laundry detergents, dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides cause allergic reactions in some children.

Some children are allergic to down and feather pillows or wool blankets. And while most experts don’t think children can be allergic to tobacco smoke, it can certainly make asthma and allergy symptoms worse.

How Is A Food Allergy Diagnosed

Common Allergies in Babies and How to Handle Them

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

  • your child’s symptoms
  • 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 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. A positive test to a food shows that your child might be sensitive to that food.
  • blood tests to check the blood for IgE antibodies to specific foods

Your child may need to stop taking some medicines 5 to 7 days before the skin test because they can affect the results. Check with the allergist’s office if you are unsure about what medicines need to be stopped and for how long.

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.

Food challenge tests are also done to see if people have outgrown an allergy.

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Tips For Introducing Common Food Allergens To Babies

  • Start small: The smaller the quantity served, the less severe an allergic reaction may be. Start with scant amounts, such as 1/8 teaspoon of a finely ground nut added to your babys bowl of oatmeal. If there is no reaction, try gradually increasing the amount over the next few days until you work your way up to larger amounts. Once youve ruled out an allergy to that food, aim to offer it to your baby as frequently as you can, but weekly at minimum.
  • Introduce allergens early in the day: Most allergic reactions occur within two hours of ingestion and often within minutes.5 Consider introducing an allergen shortly after waking in the morning or right after a morning nap. Introducing the allergen in the morning lets you observe your child during the day ahead should an allergic reaction occur, it is easier to contact your doctor for guidance. For similar reasons, it is best to introduce allergens at home and when at least one adult can focus their full attention on the baby for at least two hours afterward.
  • Regular exposure: Once youve safely introduced a food allergen to your child, keep that food in regular rotationideally offering it to your baby every week, at minimum. Not all babies with allergies will react on the first exposure, so its important to keep serving sizes small until you are confident there is no allergic reaction.

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