As long as your baby is in your womb, he is safe, (unless there are complications).
He is protected by your body’s immune system. When he is born, he has to develop his own immunity from germs and sicknesses.
Allergies happen when your child over reacts to a normally harmless substance.
WHAT CAUSES BABY ALLERGIES?
Allergic substances include mold, dust mites, pollen, animal hair or scales and foods.
If your baby is allergic to something, his body will treat that substance as an invader.
In an effort to defend itself, your child’s immune system will churn out antibodies that trigger and release a protein called histamine into the blood stream. This histamine is what brings on the symptoms.
The allergy causing substance can enter the child’s system through inhalation (of pollen dust etc), ingestion of foods that don’t agree with him, through medications like penicillin or contact with metals (jewellery) and clothing (like wool) that irritate the skin.
The upper respiratory tract (nose and throat):
Running nose (rhinitis)- sore throat from the allergy itself as a result of breathing through the mouth when the nose is blocked; post nasal drip (mucus dripping from the back of the nose into the throat) can trigger a chronic cough.
The lower respiratory tract (bronchial tract and lungs):
Asthma- If after a cold or cough, the wheezing doesn’t stop, if it keeps recurring or if there’s a family history of asthma or allergies- then this could be considered an allergy in your baby.
How do you differentiate between a common cold and an allergy? In an allergy the mucus is watery and clear, his cough is persistently dry, and his eyes are itchy and watery.
Digestive tract: Gassiness, watery sometimes bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Hives: A blotchy, itchy, raised red rash and facial swelling particularly around the eyes and mouth.
Eyes: Itching, watering, redness, dark circles under the eyes, eye inflammation.
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT?
- If you notice the above symptoms, but need verification it is important to see your child’s pediatrician and ask for a referral to an allergist if needed.
- Remove the allergens. In babies and toddlers, the most likely food allergens are cow’s milk, nuts, peanuts, soy, wheat and citrus. Later after consultation with the doctor, reintroduce the foods. You’ll need to inform your child’s care givers about your baby’s dietary needs.
- Give daily baths and shampoos. Keep your child indoors during the day, especially if there is a lot of dust and pollen in the air.
- If you have pets like dogs, bathe them outdoor to keep the hair from flying around the house.
- In summer at least, you don’t need to keep carpets on the floor. The less clutter your have (in the way of decorative pieces), the better .You’ll have less surface area to dust and clean. Dusting, sweeping and damp mopping of the house has to be done regularly to keep dust mites away.
- If your child is allergic to mould, control the moisture in your home if possible.