Though many children may never have allergies and those that do might have such mild reactions that they are missed completely and disappear, some children are more susceptible than others. Allergies in children can affect varied age groups in different ways. Younger children and infants might get eczema or develop asthma during their early years. Some will grow out of these and some will go from one allergy to another, known in the medical world as a progressive allergy disease or atopic march. Generally most childhood allergies manifest themselves in about ten to twenty percent of kids, usually seen in their early infancy as eczema, itchy rashes that develop on the cheeks, scalp, legs, arms and in creases all over the body.
Childhood Allergy Development through Early Feeding
Most kids that are breastfed are protected against reactions to varied allergens because of the antibodies and immunities passed through the breast milk to the child. However, as kids are introduced to solid type foods, the risk of allergies increases. In fact, that is why doctors recommend very important routines for parents to use when introducing babies to solids. Most babies should be introduced to individual food items, starting with cereals, meats, vegetables and finally fruit, one by one, in that specific order. Every time a food is introduced to a baby, it should be eaten for a week to see if any reactions occur. If there are issues, medical intervention is needed and recommendations for alternatives or medications can be made by a doctor. Parents should avoid making final dietary decisions for their babies without a doctor’s approval as some foods may contain things that are common amongst others and thus the allergic responses to one food might be seen in another. In this case, an allergy specialist can determine which foods should be avoided or substituted.
Childhood Allergy Symptoms
Though eczema and asthma are two common allergic responses to food in early childhood, there are other reactions that are not unsimilar to those experienced by older children, teens and adults. These include either immediate or delayed reactions such as skin reddening, itchy skin, swelling, hives, dizziness, sneezing, a runny nose, breathing problems, diarrhea, stomach aches, vomiting and nausea. Even in their mildest forms, they need to be addressed by a doctor, especially in relation to breathing issues, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling and dizziness. Severe anaphylaxis reactions are combination of varied symptoms that worsen rapidly and can be life threatening. The rule of thumb is to see a doctor as soon as possible with mild symptoms and seek emergency care with severe reactions.
Though many childhood allergies usually disappear by school age or as late as the teenage years, some childhood allergies may extend into a life-long affliction. In some cases, families with a history of allergies will have children with a higher risk of developing allergies simply because of genetics. However, the risks of childhood allergies can be greatly reduced and controlled by breast feeding, introducing solids to babies at the right time and in the right way, and by seeking the advice of a doctor and allergy specialist.