Getting Help With Balance

Could Your Child Be Developing An Allergy? Important Information For Parents

Coughs, colds, sniffles, rashes, and many other seemingly minor health issues are often thought to be part of a normal childhood. But what if it these symptoms were actually signs that your child was developing an allergic reaction to something in their environment? If your child seems to be experiencing too many instances of minor illness, ruling out possible allergies may be the best course of action for you to explore — and these tips are sure to help. 

Do you or other close family members experience allergies? 

Parents who are beginning to suspect their child may be having an allergic reaction should first consider whether or not it could be inherited. While a parent or grandparent with an allergy will not always pass the trait to their children or grandchildren, the risk factor for being allergic does rise significantly for children with an allergic parent or grandparent, making allergy testing important for such kids.

What are the most common signs of an allergic reaction in children? 

Allergy symptoms are often overlooked because they closely resemble the symptoms of the common cold. Stuffy noses, sneezing, watery eyes, and sore throats or difficulty in swallowing are all common symptoms children experience when getting a cold or developing an allergy. Some children also experience vomiting and fatigue, which can also be easily confused with common flu symptoms. 

When should parents worry begin to worry about allergies? 

Children who get one or two periods of cold or flu-like symptoms each year are not likely to be experiencing an allergy issue. This is especially true if these periods of illness are minor and most often occur when other children are also experiencing them, such as when school is in session and children are more likely to come into contact with the germs responsible for the flu or the common cold.

If, however, children begin to experience these symptoms much more frequently, or the symptoms seem to become increasingly severe, it is very likely that one or more allergies could be the cause. 

It is also important for parents to know that airborne allergies, such as those involving dust, dander, or pollen are likely to be uncomfortable for their child but are rarely life-threatening. Allergies related to ingesting food or medications, however, are likely to be much more severe, or even life-threatening, and should be considered a health emergency. 

To learn more about allergies, including testing procedures, parents can make an appointment to discuss their concerns with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist or their child's pediatrician.