Normally, your child’s immune system is programmed to fight off harmful viruses and bacteria that can make them sick. However, sometimes the immune system overreacts, identifying harmless things such as dust mites, pollen and pets as allergens that threaten the body and must be attacked. The result is an allergic reaction.
When a child has an allergic reaction, the body releases a chemical called histamine, which in turn sets off symptoms that can range from mild to life-threatening. The most common allergy symptoms include:
In severe cases, allergies can cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical treatment.
Many substances can trigger an allergic reaction, and different children are allergic to different things. Allergies in children are most frequently caused by:
Mercy pediatricians know how to help your child get relief from allergies. We start by finding out what’s causing the allergic reaction by evaluating your child’s symptoms and environment with a thorough history and physical examination. We may recommend skin or blood tests to look for specific allergens. For food allergies, an elimination diet can help identify the culprits.
Next, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan that may include:
Allergies can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but they are treatable. Count on Mercy to help your child overcome allergy symptoms and live more comfortably.