Allergies are common in children. My teen daughter has several. It is a pain. As their little immune systems grow, and are exposed to more and more of the world, they go to battle and some of them suffer allergies as a result. Feeling run-down, inability to sleep, and crankiness result from dealing with the physical manifestations of the microbiology war that is going on inside. With my now teen when she was young these drove us both a little batty.
Often it is a transient sensitivity but sometimes childhood allergies continue on into adulthood. My teen gets very bad allergy reactions especially in the spring and fall, sometimes they are just awful.
There are a few ways to effectively manage allergies in children:
- Avoidance. The simplest method is to simply avoid whatever is causing the sensitivity. Watch for foods that may be causing discomfort, keep dust and pet hair to a minimum, and avoid parks and areas that may be contributing to airborne allergens.
- Keep Things Clean. It goes without saying that keeping things clean will help reduce allergic reactions, but it’s worth taking the time to determine what is causing your child’s allergy and making sure that the particular culprit is kept at bay. If it’s dust and mites, consider installing hardwood floors to keep it down. If it’s pet hair then perhaps invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove as much as possible from the environment. Staying on top of the cleaning may help avoid attacks and a big clean up later on. You can also use an air filter. We do.
- Oral Medication. Allergy and hayfever tablets can relieve symptoms for most common allergies. Be sure to check with your pediatrician and/or pharmacist before administering any medication; they can help you to be sure that you have the correct formulation and the right dosage.
- Immunotherapy. The latest development in allergy treatment is to administer small amounts of the allergen to allow the immune system to slowly acclimatize to the stressor. Allergy shots are thought to be 85% effective and can help prevent childhood allergies from developing into asthma.
- Be Prepared. Food allergies have got to be one of the worst – your child wants to eat the same things all his friends are but you know that it’s just not possible. The best defence is a good offence; being prepared with their favorite safe foods is the best way to combat the desire to share with friends and be exposed to allergens.
With luck, and good management, childhood allergies can be managed and handled with minimal fuss.