Your Kids Allergies -
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What Causes Kids Allergies?

Kids Allergies (and allergies in general) are commonly explained as an exaggerated reaction by the immune system to something that is normally harmless to the body. When an allergic reaction occurs, the immune system identifies the matter as a threat and reacts incorrectly. This then result in the allergic reaction. When the allergic reaction occurs, the body created allergy cells that emit chemicals such as histamine to defend the body against the so called threat. 

The most common causes of kids allergies are:

  • Pollen
  • Foods
  • Insect stings or bites
  • Animals and Pets
  • Mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Cleaning Chemicals
  • Medicine

Some kids allergies are airborne, such as pollen while others are found in the food we eat such as nuts, wheat, certain fruits, milk, eggs, gluten, or food coloring and many more. 

Others are from animal stings such as bees, fleas, or mosquitoes. In some cases the pets we have cause allergies in children as well. It has been said that the coat hair and saliva of pets are the main causes of allergies caused by pets. 

Mold and dust mites are also common causes of allergies in children. The best you can do to prevent this type of allergy is to try to keep your home as clean and dust free as possible and free of mold. Mold needs high temperatures and moist to grow. One thing you certainly can do to prevent mold growing in your home is to ensure that there are no water leakages, especially in basements where the conditions are ideal.

The cleaning chemicals we use in and around our homes can also cause allergies, not only in children but in adults as well. Simple things such as washing powder, fabric softener, bath soap, dishwashing detergent, and other popular cleaning materials can all be causes of allergies in children.

As strange as it may sound, some children show an allergic reaction to certain over the counter or prescription medications. Although it is not commonly found, it does happen and when your child shows an allergic reaction on any medication you should stop it immediately and contact your doctor right away.

Kids Allergies can be hereditary as well. When one of the parents suffer from one kind of allergy it is possible for a child to get the allergy as well. In the event where both parents suffer from allergies the risk of the child getting it increases significantly. 

Know if Your Child Suffers from an Allergy
People and especially parents are much more conscious about kids allergies today than a few years ago. Yet few parents know how to know if their child is suffering from an allergy and when it is serious enough to seek medical attention. 

Many kids allergy symptoms are very much alike typical child illnesses making it difficult to differentiate between allergies and childhood illnesses. Symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose, a red face, fever, wheezing, and coughing are typical flue or cold symptoms, while a rash can be a childhood illness such as measles but are related to allergies as well. Here are some of the most common typical indicative signs and symptoms of child allergies. 

  • Facial Twitches

Kids with nasal allergies tend to pull faces or having facial twitches because they are trying to make the itching go away. For teachers, friends, and family this may look if the child is pulling faces at times when it is inappropriate.

  • Itchy Nose
Most allergies cause noses to itch. When your child frequently rubs his nose with the palm of his hand especially in an upward movement it is likely that he suffers from this irritating symptom of an allergy. In some instances you will also be able to notice a wrinkle over the bride of the nose because of this action.
  • Glue Ear
Sometimes kids appear to not hearing properly or having a short attention span because of a condition called glue ear. This is often found amongst kids with nasal allergies where some blocking of the ear canal causes them to have difficulty with hearing.
  • Tired Eyes
The common name is allergic shiner. It looks just like the start of a black eye and is the result of congested veins underneath the delicate skin surrounding the eye area. It has a dark blue darkening under or around the child’s eye. It can affect both or only one of the eyes.
  • Postnasal Drip
Continuous postnasal drip caused by kids allergies often leads to coughing and a sore throat. Many times these symptoms are confused with cold and flue symptoms. It is in fact mucous that is formed in the nasal passages due to the allergic reaction and drips down the back of the throat.
  • Wrinkles
Small fine lines around your kid’s eyes are significant indications of chest and nasal allergies. It is just obvious that kids are much too young to have any kind of wrinkles. They normally form below the lower eyelids of the child.
  • When to Visit Your Doctor
The golden rule of children health is that if you are in doubt, you should call your doctor. When you notice any of these symptoms or your child is suffering from any kind of symptom that might be caused by allergies, you should visit your doctor. This may not only rule out any kind of allergy but also other conditions that may affect his or her health.

Common Food Allergies in Children
The most common food related Kids allergies affect about eight percent or approximately two million children in the United States. There are six particular foods that are known to cause allergic reactions in children. 
  1. Eggs
  2. Fish and Shellfish
  3. Milk
  4. Peanuts and Tree Nuts
  5. Soy
  6. Wheat

1. Eggs
Eggs are a very common allergy in babies as well as children. Because you find eggs in most foods children consume, dealing with egg allergies can become a challenge. Further so because allergies for eggs are difficult to diagnose and also because eggs are more often than not, not clearly marked on the ingredient list of products but as a hidden ingredient. The good news however is that although kids get allergic to eggs at a very early age, they are likely to outgrow it around their fifth birthday. 

2. Fish and Shellfish
Fish and shellfish can cause various types of allergic reactions. It is also a very common type of allergy. These reactions can vary from mild to very serious and in most cases people do not outgrow the allergy for fish and shellfish.

3. Milk
The allergy for milk and in particular cow’s milk is caused by the protein in the milk. Up to almost eight percent of all babies are affected by protein of cow milk. What makes this problem worse is that up to eighty percent of all baby milk formulas available are manufactured with cow milk protein as a basis. Other products that contain milk protein are cheese and yogurt for example and are often also a hidden ingredient in processed foods. This type of allergy does not only affect children but affect adults as well. 

4. Peanuts and Tree Nuts
Allergic reactions to peanuts and tree nuts are some of the worst and most dangerous food allergies. There are more than one and a half million people in the United States that suffer from this allergy. About fifty percent of people who are allergic to peanuts are allergic to tree nuts as well. Common tree nut allergies include walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans and can include sesame and sunflower seeds. Children who suffer from peanut or tree nut allergies are unlikely to outgrow it. 

5. Soy
Allergic reactions to soy products amongst babies and infants are more common than what most people think. Fortunately it does not affect older kids as much as babies and infants. Up to forty percent of babies and infants are affected by soy products. Most kids who are allergic to milk are likely to be allergic to soy products as well. Apart from soya milk, soy can be found in numerous processed foods.

6. Wheat
Wheat can be found in a large variety of foods children consume. This kind of allergy varies in the way and intensity it appears and brings forth various allergy signs and symptoms. Sometimes some symptoms are easier to detect than others are. More often than not wheat allergies are confused with Celiac disease. Celiac disease is sensitivity to gluten that is found in grain products. Unlike Celiac disease, wheat allergies do not damage the intestine and only produce an allergic reaction. 

Treating and Dealing with Child Allergies
It is not really possible to cure kids allergies, but there is ways to relieve the symptoms. The best way to deal or treat child allergies in general is to try to avoid or reduce the allergens. One way to do this is to make sure your child knows what cause their allergy, what kind of reaction they will have and what they must do to avoid it. 

It is also important to make sure that teachers, caregivers, family members, and your child’s friends and their parents know about your child’s allergy and how to deal with it. 

When it is not possible to avoid, reduce contact, or consumption of the allergen doctors usually prescribe medication to lessen the effect of the symptoms. These medications can range from antihistamine medication, nasal sprays, or inhalers. 

If your child is suffering from airborne allergies, you can take the following steps to reduce contact or lessen the reaction thereof. 
  • Clean all areas frequently
  • Do not allow pets in your child’s bedroom
  • Bathe pets frequently
  • If possible remove rugs and carpets and replace it with floor surfaces that do not collect as much dust as carpets such as tiles, or wooden floors.
  • Keep window covers simple that does not accumulate a lot of dust easily. Stay especially away from heavy drapes.
  • Make use of mattress and pillow covers that can seal them to avoid dust mite allergies.
  • Keep areas prone to mold such as bathrooms, laundries, and basements clean and dry. Kids with these kinds of allergies should also avoid basements or other areas that are damp.
  • Kids that suffer from pollen related kids allergies should try to stay indoors when pollen counts are at their peak. It is also a good idea to keep windows closed during this season. If it is avoidable for them to go outside make them change their clothes once they come back inside.

I've also found that Grapeseed extract is a great natural anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen for hay fever like allergies. By combining this with a regular vitamin supplement it has helped my own and my kids allergies tremendously. It's a great feeling to be able to play outside without your head set to implode.

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