IL families have multitude of options for pediatric allergies
While it’s possible for people to develop allergies later in life, it appears children are more susceptible to allergies.
Consider that one in every five Americans (including children) has allergies. When you take into account sensitivities to one or more common allergens among schoolchildren, the World Health Organization reports the prevalence increases to 40 percent – and up to as many as one out of every two children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics notes common triggers include dust mites found in bedding, upholstery, carpet, and other fabrics. Animals with fur, such as dogs, cats and rabbits, may also trigger reactions. Pests like cockroaches, pollen, molds and fungus, and foods round out the list of culprits. Cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and fish are responsible for many food allergies.
Educating your child and any caregivers on the allergy and allergic reactions should they be exposed to the substance is a first step toward preventing symptoms. Other steps can be taken and are dictated by the type of allergy; for instance, you may elect to remove carpets, rugs, or heavy drapes from your child’s bedroom.
If it’s impossible to avoid the allergen, or these steps haven’t worked, then it’s time to work with our specialists at Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates and Food Allergy Center of Illinois to identify the best treatment for your child.
This treatment could come down to one or more of the following:
- Antihistamines – Oral or prescribed, can relieve itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing, and skin conditions like hives
- Nasal Corticosteroids – Unlike the steroids we hear about with athletes, these drugs are safe to use for management of chronic allergy symptoms, and effective when taken daily
- Immunotherapy – Also known as allergy shots, this approach may reduce the need for other types of medications by exposing your child to small amounts of the allergen. With ever-increasing amounts of allergen being injected gradually, over time the immune system no longer fights the substance and learns to tolerate it.
- Injectable Epinephrine – If your child has an allergy that causes a life-threatening symptom known as anaphylaxis, such as to stings or bites from insects like wasps, honeybees and fire ants, we’ll suggest your child carries a device containing adrenalin such as an EpiPen in case of emergencies. You should practice using the device with your child on a “trainer” (containing no drug or needle). If your child isn’t old enough to use the EpiPen, you need to assure teachers and other childcare providers have, and know how to use, the EpiPen.
Still other promising treatments include no-shot immunotherapy, whereby children with needle anxiety may be given an extract of the allergen in drop or tablet form. Placed under the tongue for a few minutes, the extract is then swallowed. The duration of therapy is similar to its injectable counterpart.
Allergies in children have been known to subside on their own, only to return later in life. They also frequently occur in tandem with other types of conditions, such as asthma. We can speak with you about the specific complications and treatment options for pediatric allergies in IL by calling our office in Crystal Lake at 847 888 8802.