As pediatric allergy specialists, the team at Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon MD are well-versed in diagnosis and treatment of the allergic reactions from which your child may suffer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost one in five American children suffers from seasonal allergies and about 6% have allergies to food. An overreaction of their young immune systems, an allergy commonly results from exposure to normally harmless substances.
These substances, called allergens, cause no harm. However, it’s not fully understood why the body’s immune system creates antibodies to fight them. It’s the immune system response, not the allergen itself, that causes the symptoms affecting your child. Today, let’s take a look at some of the most common allergens that affect children.
Many allergens enter the body through breathing. Substances can be found anywhere, inside or outside, at home, school, or other location. The resulting allergies can be seasonal or situational. For instance, ragweed pollen might cause respiratory symptoms in the late summer, while pet dander creates similar reactions only when your child is around animals.
Common airborne allergens include:
- Pollen: a fine powder produced by the flowers of seed plants that’s blown into the air by wind or disturbed by animals and insects
- Dust mites: tiny insects that thrive on old skin cells, causing allergies and asthma in children
- Pets: a protein present in dander, saliva, and urine can cause allergic reactions
- Mold: reproducing through airborne spores, mold is a common indoor and outdoor allergen
- Cockroaches: like pets, cockroaches shed a protein that can provoke an allergic response
Airborne irritants can also become allergens. Cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays, and fragrances are common types of irritant allergens.
Allergens that your child eats or drinks can cause mild or serious reactions. The most common food allergens are:
- Cow’s milk protein and dairy products that contain it
- Fish and/or shellfish
- Tree nuts
- Soy and soy products
Sesame, a pod-grown seed, is also a common allergen. Some allergic sensitivities will pass as your child gets older, though some specific allergens, both food and airborne, tend to remain active into adulthood.
Other types of allergens include:
Your child may not have an allergic reaction the first time they’re stung by a venomous insect, like honey bees, hornets, or wasps. The allergic response may start with subsequent incidents though. All insect stings cause a reaction. An allergy creates more intense and sometimes dangerous reactions.
Sometimes, medications can create an allergic response. Penicillin-based antibiotics are a common example.
Substances in cleaning products and detergents can cause eczema or hives, usually as a result of direct skin contact.
When you suspect your child has an allergic reaction of any type, seek emergency medical care if it produces an anaphylactic response.
Otherwise, call or click to make an appointment with Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon MD. We’ll discuss your child’s symptoms and develop an action plan that includes allergy testing appropriate to their case. Your child’s allergies can be contained. Book your visit today.