We want the best for our kids. We want them to try their best, act their best, be their best, and certainly feel their best. For many kids, different types of allergies can hold them back from enjoying their day to the fullest.
Here is everything you need to know about children’s allergies and how we can help:
What Are Allergies?
Allergies occur when our immune systems perceive harmless matter as a threat. The allergen causes the immune system to make antibodies called immunoglobulin E to fight off the “intruder.”
In the process of creating and releasing these antibodies and histamines, we experience allergic reactions and unpleasant symptoms. This often causes a headache—as yes, we mean that literally.
What Are the Different Possible Types of Allergies in Kids?
While there are a few other kinds of common allergens that both kids and adults alike may have (medications, metals, chemicals, bee stings, and mosquito bites, etc.), for the purposes of this article, we will be delving deeper into two specific types of allergens.
This category includes ever-common if not particularly enjoyable seasonal allergies. Many of us have had a complicated relationship with pesky pollen since we were young, and allergies can often be passed down genetically. This does not mean that your child will automatically be prone to sniffles just because you are, but it definitely makes it more likely.
That said, there are environmental allergens that can trigger a reaction other than those that may be found outside. For instance, some children and adults may find themselves to be allergic to pets.
Exposure to even a small amount of cat and dog dander and saliva has the ability to make some people sneeze, break out into hives, or experience other symptoms. If you check the pollen count before you head out, you might be no stranger to allergic rhinitis, aka hay fever.
Other common indoor allergens include mold and dust mites. It’s important that we try our best to clean our spaces often, which helps us avoid letting these allergens thrive.
Another common type of allergen are those that we consume. This experience is so common that one in 13 kids has some kind of food allergy. These specific allergies can prompt many different kinds of allergies, some of course more problematic than others.
Some of the most common food allergens include:
- Peanuts and/or tree nuts (like walnuts or cashews)
When our kids experience allergic reactions or have one or more parents with allergies, it might be time to take them in for an allergy test to look for IgE antibodies. Be sure to talk to a pediatrician to determine whether this could be a helpful course of action.
In a dash of good news, the world is becoming more and more accomodating of food allergies by the day, meaning that your little one with peanut allergies will still have a large variety of treats to choose from.
What Are the Most Common Allergy Symptoms?
Kids can experience a wide range of allergy symptoms, and these symptoms can vary in severity.
Keep in mind that severe reactions warrant immediate medical attention. These symptoms include tongue and throat swelling and anything that might interrupt airflow.
However, some of the most common allergy symptoms in both children and adults include:
- A rash/hives
- Tingling lips
- Red, watery, or itchy eyes
- A stuffy or runny nose/nasal congestion
- Gastrointestinal issues (nausea, cramps, diarrhea, etc.)
How Are Allergies in Children Similar to Allergies in Adults?
Reactions to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust are a bit more common in children than adults, but allergies can be developed at any point during someone’s life. The similarities do not stop there.
Many of the allergy relief methods used in kids are also helpful in adults and vice versa. Of course, the dosage or method of treatment may need to be changed.
Homeopathic treatments are often easier to use for both children and adults, as the lack of harsh chemicals makes them easier for anyone of any age to tolerate.
How Can We Treat Children’s Allergies?
The good news is that there are a variety of ways to go about treating a child’s allergies. These treatments are primarily based on relieving symptoms, which could include any or all of the ones listed earlier, or perhaps your child experiences different ones entirely.
After all, we already know our children are special, so why should their allergies be any different?
Drug-based allergy treatment methods come in several forms. Antihistamines are popular among both kids and adults, but they often have a number of unintended and unwanted side effects.
When given antihistamines, some children will grow drowsy or feel especially out of it. This fatigue is hardly conducive to a school or after-school activity environment.
Then, there are steroid nasal sprays for symptoms like sniffles, congestion, and other kinds of inflammation. The downside is that these can take several weeks to work and are often difficult or uncomfortable to correctly apply. Lastly, a decongestant can be used to ease sneezing and other mucus-related symptoms.
While these treatments are an option worth discussing with your child’s pediatrician, they can come with undesirable side effects and leave kids not feeling their best. Sometimes the best solutions are natural ones without harsh chemicals that are easy on children’s systems.
What Are the Best Homeopathic Treatments for Children’s Allergies?
An effective homeopathic allergy relief treatment is one that is made without any harsh chemicals that could be potentially irritative, and opt for natural ingredients instead. Natural ingredients can still have widespread and tremendous benefits in terms of both allergy symptom relief and beyond.
The Natural Patch Co. utilizes the power of essential oils in our allergy relief stickers. Our AllergyPatch helps to ease symptoms quickly and successfully without any uncomfortable lotions or sprays, hard-to-swallow pills, or gross-tasting liquid medicines.
Instead, simply place a fun sticker on your child’s clothing, where it will immediately get to work on helping your child's symptoms.
It’s also worth mentioning that some of the best natural solutions for children’s allergies also alleviate adults’ allergy symptoms. In the case of the AllergyPatch, people of any age can reap the rewards of our essential oil-based formula.
How Can Allergy Treatment Be Made Fun?
Now that we understand a bit more about the basics of what causes allergies to flare up and how these episodes can impact our kids. It’s finally time to explore what we can do to help them feel their best, emotionally and physically.
Cater To Their Interests
It is absolutely no secret that kids love bright colors and funny faces. Combining the two allows for the best of both worlds and creates a solution that will have children everywhere smiling from one unclogged ear to another.
Luckily, we do not have to do any kind of painting; it’s always best to leave that to the professionals. Instead, this comes in the form of yet another fun item that kids can’t get enough of—stickers.
There is something about the childhood memory of receiving a sticker that (for lack of a better term) sticks with us as we age. Whether it was a gold star received in school for a great grade on a test, or a rainbow sticker carefully placed on a wall, they add a simple joy that can’t be matched.
Not only do cute stickers have great emotional benefits for children, but now they have worthwhile health advantages as well.
Include Them in the Process
Children love to feel included, and why shouldn’t they? Being picked for a game at recess or making lasting memories at a sleepover with friends are part of what makes being a kid so special. This desire to be included undoubtedly extends to parents and caregivers, as well as how they are looked after.
This doesn’t mean you should let them in on every little detail (children rarely have very helpful advice on taxes), but explaining things related to their care can get them more excited and involved.
In the case of allergies, feel free to tell your kids how a treatment will make them feel better. Maybe even include a bit of the science behind it. If you choose to go that route, be sure to explain it in a way that is fun and intuitive, which brings us to our next point.
Make It Easy To Understand
When talking to our kids, a top priority is to expand their minds while still having fun. There are ways to talk about their allergy treatment without overwhelming them or making it seem like a lesson or chore. This becomes especially easy with the help of fun visual aids like stickers with silly faces.
When children understand what is going into their care, they can take more ownership over it and eventually grow more independent. Letting them in on how to look after themselves sets a fantastic foundation that can be built upon later in life.
Plus, this awareness will help them greatly to advocate for themselves and their needs outside of the home.
Turning Sniffles Into Smiles
Through understanding our kids’ allergies and helping them to understand them in turn, we can ensure more days filled with smiles, laughter, and joy to come.
All About Allergies | KidsHealth
Allergy Testing for Kids: What To Expect | Healthline