Posts for category: Pediatric Nutrition
Allergies cause all kinds of discomforts, not just seasonally, but year-round as well. Fortunately, if your child is dealing with allergies that give them a runny nose, sneezing, or watery eyes, the pediatricians here at Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care can help—read on to learn how!
What are allergies?
Allergies are the body's hypersensitive reaction to ordinary environmental substances or foods. Present in both children and adults, the Centers for Disease Control says that 50 million people in the United States have allergies.
When it comes to living with allergies, proper diagnosis/identification of the allergen and treatment are key to good daily function. Parents and the doctors here at our Westchase offices work together to formulate allergy care plans that are helpful to children.
Dealing with allergies
Most allergy sufferers undergo diagnostic tests to determine what substance provokes their symptoms. Typically, doctors order skin prick or scratch tests that introduce tiny amounts of suspected allergens under the skin. Any reactions are read and a treatment plan is formulated. Sometimes doctors order blood work, as well.
Once identified, allergies can be controlled through:
- Avoiding triggers, such as pet dander, foods, tobacco smoke and pollen
- Using nasal sprays, eye drops, and oral medications to suppress symptoms
- Taking allergy shots (immunotherapy) to de-sensitize the body's reaction to triggers
Additionally, there are common-sense steps parents can take to suppress their children's symptoms. These can include:
- Limiting time outdoors during peak allergy season
- Closing the windows
- Having the child wash face and hands and even change clothes after playing outdoors
- Paying attention to what interventions and medicines work and which do not (and be sure to tell your child's doctor)
- Routinely dusting hard surfaces in your home and vacuuming soft surfaces
- Avoiding all tobacco smoke
Find out more
The more knowledgeable you are about your youngster's allergies the more control you will have over symptoms. For ongoing help, stay in contact with your child's doctor. Our team of five pediatricians and their support staff are very willing to answer questions, give suggestions, and help you coordinate your child's care. For Clearwater Pediatric Care, our number is (717) 461-1543. For Westchase Pediatric Care, phone (813) 818-1543.
Especially during the younger years, adequate food and nutrition is vital for a child’s growth and development. But for some children, a snack or meal as simple as a peanut butter sandwich or a cup of milk can cause serious health problems. So, what’s a parent to do when they suspect their child is allergic to a certain food?
A food allergy is the abnormal response of the immune system to a food. It’s possible to be allergic to any food, but these particular foods are responsible for the majority of allergies: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and peanuts. Food allergies should not be confused with food intolerance, or food sensitivity, which is more common and less severe.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction typically occur within just moments to an hour after the child ingests a food. They can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening, so it’s important for parents to understand what to do if they suspect their child is having an allergic reaction to food. Symptoms will vary for each child, but the most common telltale signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth or throat
- Light-headedness or loss of consciousness
Food allergy symptoms often resemble other medical conditions, so always contact your pediatrician for a proper diagnosis. If you suspect your child has a food allergy, remove that particular food from your child’s diet immediately. If the allergic reaction is severe, seek medical care right away.
The good news is that food allergies are often outgrown during early childhood. Your pediatrician or allergist can perform tests to pinpoint and track your child's food allergies They can also work with you to modify and manage your child’s diet to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition for growth and development without putting them at risk for additional allergic reactions.