Allergies affect us all a little bit differently. Perhaps you grew up with an allergy, or maybe discovered some along the way. Early detection of allergies in children is always best, as it helps you, are parents, prepare for the situation and understand exactly what is happening with your child. There’s nothing worse than seeing your child sick or suffer from a reaction without knowing what’s causing it. That’s why it is so important for you to know more about pediatric allergic rhinitis and other symptoms. The more you know about children allergies, the better off you can treat your child and be there for them, should they ever experience an allergic reaction.
What is Pediatric Allergic Rhinitis?
The symptoms attached to this are likely familiar to you. When suffering from it, there is an inflammation of the mucous membrane within the nose. This leads to a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and even a post-nasal drip. These kind of symptoms are some of the most common allergic reactions. If your child begins to suffer from these symptoms and yet it is not cold and flu season, or they don’t have any other displays of a cold, there’s a good chance they are suffering an allergic reaction. These kinds of reactions are common when allergic to pets (such as cats), or if there’s a mind allergy to certain foods.
In more extreme cases, pediatric allergic rhinitis may also lead to some coughing, itching and headaches. Your child may suffer from puffy, itchy or watery eyes as the mucus membranes do run through the eyes.
These symptoms are also common during allergy season, when pollen and dust are present. When your child first displays these kinds of symptoms it is highly recommended to come in and have an allergy test performed. This way, it’s possible to not only determine whether or not the symptoms are caused by an allergy, but what the allergy may be.
One in 13 Children Have Food Allergies
Food allergies are a growing commonality. It occurs when the immune system sees a specific food as a threat and responds to the new danger. In many cases, it is possible to slowly expose the body to certain foods over a long period of time in order to reduce, or completely eliminate the symptom. The most common food allergies children experience revolve around peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts (like walnuts), wheat, soy, fish and shellfish (shrimp, lobster and crab).
Allergies to soy, milk and eggs are some of the more common allergies children may outgrow. However, allergies to peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts and fish are allergies, according to Kids With Food Allergies (2017) are less likely to grow out of.
Steps in Avoiding Reactions
Both you and your child want to avoid allergic reactions. No matter how much your child might want to enjoy the ice cream or scrambled eggs, if there is an allergy to these foods the reactions can vary from mild to life threatening. This is why it is important for your child to be tested for allergies in order to see what foods bring the highest level of risk. After discovering how certain foods affect your child, it is then necessary to take steps in order to avoid reactions.
The top priority for avoiding allergies, if food based, are reading labels. Knowing how to read food labels is important. Most foods indicate whether or not there are peanuts, soy, milk, eggs or other common allergy based foods within the product. However, whenever buying a new kind of food it is always important to read the ingredients. When at restaurants, it’s necessary to ask about what ingredients are used in foods. Restaurants are required to provide these answers when regards to allergies.
For allergies connected to dust, dander and pollen, maintaining a clean house is important, as is regular dusting and vacuuming. Changing out the filters within the vacuum helps prevent dirt from being kicked back into the air. It’s also important to invest in high-quality air filters for the home’s HVAC system.
Above everything else, the best way to avoid reactions is to educate your child on how to manage their allergies. The younger you start with your child, the earlier they will grasp the concept of allergies. It is also important to teach your child how to use the epinephrine auto injector if they are having an allergic reaction.
Know Your Child’s Allergies
You would do anything for your child. You want to keep them safe and pain free, which is why understanding their allergies is very important. That is why you need to have your child tested early on for allergies, especially if they show signs of pediatric allergic rhinitis or other common symptoms of allergies.
Egg allergy is caused due to our immune system reacting against the proteins in the egg – usually found in the white part. It is particularly seen in younger children starting from 6 months of age. Egg allergies can be either permanent or transient – in transient cases, children outgrow their egg allergy.
Some people have allergic reactions to egg upon skin contact but can ingest it because gastric digestion reduces the allergen of the egg proteins. Sometimes egg proteins can be resistant to the heat and digestive enzymes in the stomach causing an immune response.
For children with allergies, the reaction is usually within minutes to a couple of hours of ingestion of egg, with symptoms such as hives or swelling. Skin symptoms are most common, but other immediate reactions involving the gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts are also seen.
Severity of reaction
Egg allergy has been implicated as a trigger for atopic dermatitis. Children who have egg allergies with atopic dermatitis response are more likely to develop asthma.
The severity of the allergic reaction varies from person to person, from episode to episode. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, and infants and children who are asthmatics are particularly at risk. Fatal incidents are few, but have occurred.
Allergic reactions are milder when ingesting cooked denatured egg, but stronger in case of eating raw or undercooked egg. Gastrointestinal inflammatory reactions are also present in some children showing up as allergic eosinophilic esophagitis.
Egg allergy can be verified by a variety of diagnostic methods. However, there is no permanent cure, so managing this involves:
- Avoiding eggs – this can prove difficult as egg whites, shells etc. are in so many products including medicines and vaccines. Being vigilant becomes important.
- For patients with a history of severe allergic reactions, having an epinephrine autoinjector at hand always.
- Some studies have suggested kids fed egg at 4-6 months of age were less likely to develop an egg allergy.
When it comes to the adult population, occupational asthma has been seen in populations which work in egg factories or bakeries where egg is used commonly in aerosol form.
If you suffer from celiac disease or a milder form of wheat intolerance allergy, planning a menu can become significantly more difficult. However, with growing numbers of people reporting some level of food allergy symptoms (wheat & being allergic to peanuts being quite common), it’s becoming easier than ever to eat well without feeling too restricted.
Cutting Out the Wheat when allergic to wheat
Here are some alternatives to wheat to build a healthy, delicious, and gluten-free diet around. And of course, we recommend that you see a gastroenterologist as well, since these doctors specialize in celiac disease and are the best ones to diagnose it.
Rice flour is an excellent alternative to traditional wheat-based flours. This fine, starchy flour can thicken sauces and soups and is also a great substitute for using in baked goods. Just like wheat flour, rice flour’s mild flavor will not overpower your dish.
In Arizona, corn tortillas and authentic Mexican tortillas can be found everywhere, at any grocery store. Plus, these easy-to-find snacks are extremely affordable. Corn tortillas are a great alternative to flour-based wraps and breads. The sweet, earthy flavor complements just about anything, so you needn’t stick to eating these only when making Tex-Mex food!
Baked Tortilla Chips
Tortilla chips are a delicious gluten-free snack on their own. With a bowl of salsa or guacamole on the side, you can have a yummy snack that will satisfy your cravings. Tortilla chips are also extremely versatile in the gluten-free kitchen. Crushed tortilla chips make an excellent breading alternative for dishes like fried chicken and coconut shrimp. Plus, ground tortilla chips can work as a thickening agent for sauces and soups while offering a slightly sweeter flavor than flour.
Up until recently, those who avoided gluten had a difficult time finding an alternative to wheat pasta in the grocery store. However, quinoa pasta is now widely available in major outlets across the country. Quinoa pasta requires about the same cooking time as traditional wheat pasta, and its flavor and texture is basically indistinguishable from the original.
Brown rice is an excellent and nutrient-rich alternative to gluten-filled side dishes. You can enjoy brown rice on its own or use flour produced from it to make breads and pastas.
Popcorn is a delicious gluten-free snack that is extremely filling without necessarily being heavy on the fat and sugar. With just a little salt and olive oil, a big bowl of popcorn can be deeply satisfying.
Many people are unaware that soy sauce contains gluten, which when combined with the ubiquitous noodles can make Chinese food a minefield for wheat allergy sufferers. Luckily, there is an alternative to soy sauce called tamari. Like soy sauce, tamari adds deliciously savory ‘umami’ flavor to any dish, yet contains no gluten whatsoever. If you’re an avid sushi or oriental food lover, tamari will be your new best friend.
If you like your morning oatmeal, gluten-free oats provide the same texture and flavor as the traditional version. Plus, these oats can serve other purposes as well. For instance, if your meatloaf recipe calls for breadcrumbs, gluten-free oats make an excellent substitute.
Suffering from a wheat allergy can make life complicated in the kitchen, but if you want to avoid the unpleasant or dangerous symptoms, then it’s essential to cut out gluten completely. Luckily, these days there are many alternatives, and so there’s no need to feel your enjoyment of food is being restricted by your dietary requirements.
By the way, if you, or your loved one are needing food allergy testing, please contact one of our local Phoenix Metro offices for an appointment with one of our allergy specialists!
A CTV News story dated December 2, 2013 details a fresh perspective doctors are giving out on introducing foods that can cause allergies in children.
In a joint statement by the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and also endorsed by Dietitians of Canada, the doctors say there appears to be no benefits to delaying the introduction of these foods.
The holiday season is normally a time when people gorge on delectable holiday treats. However, parents who have children with peanut allergies tend to dread the holiday season. After all, peanut residue can be present in any holiday treat (even if the treat’s recipe does not call for peanuts), causing their child to go into anaphylactic shock.