Guiding Your Child Through Avoiding Common Allergy Triggers

The early years of a child’s life often see a heightened risk of developing allergies.

What is the meaning of the term “allergies”?

Allergies refer to a condition characterized by various symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itching, which are caused by exposure to certain triggers such as food, pollen, or insect bites. This can be especially prevalent during spring when there is a high amount of pollen in the air, causing a condition known as allergic rhinitis.

What are the different types of allergies?

To diagnose a child’s allergy, a doctor must identify the cause of the allergic reaction. There are various types of allergies including:

  • Allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever)
  • Food allergies – for example, adults may be allergic to nuts and seafood, while children may have reactions to eggs, peanuts, or cow’s/soy milk
  • Pollen-food allergy (or oral allergy syndrome) – where people with hay fever experience itching in their mouth after eating certain fruits that contain proteins found in some pollens
  • Insect allergy – due to exposure or bites from certain insects
  • Drug allergy – an allergy to drugs such as ibuprofen, etc.
  • Atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema)
  • Pet allergies – a reaction to proteins in an animal’s skin cells, urine, or saliva.

What are the common symptoms of allergies?

The symptoms of allergies may vary depending on the individual and the cause of the allergy. Some common signs that a child may be experiencing an allergy include:

  • Sneezing
  • Skin redness
  • Mucus buildup in the back of the nose
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty sleeping due to allergy symptoms
  • Dry skin
  • Swelling in the face
  • Anaphylaxis or airway constriction (in severe cases)

Who is prone to allergies?

Individuals with a family history of allergies are more likely to develop the condition. If someone has an allergy to certain foods, they are more likely to have additional food allergies. Other conditions, such as eczema, can increase a child’s risk of developing other allergies, as can having asthma.

Allergies in Children

Children are more susceptible to food allergies as their bodies are not yet able to fully digest certain food components. Children may outgrow their allergies to eggs and milk, but some may have a lifelong allergy to foods such as nuts and shellfish.


Allergies are often treated with antihistamines, which are taken orally in pill or liquid form. It is important to only use allergy medication that is suitable for a child’s age and to consult with a doctor about appropriate options.

Preventative steps

There are several practical strategies to prevent allergic reactions, including:

  • Plan ahead by bringing your own food for your child to control their dietary intake.
  • Ask about ingredient lists when dining out.
  • Make sure your child wears a medical bracelet or has a list of allergies readily available at school and home.
  • Teach your child how to ask for help in case of an allergic reaction.
  • Inform your child’s school and faculty about their allergies and have an emergency plan in place.

Medical Disclaimer

While the above medications can be obtained without a prescription, it is important to consult with your child’s doctor before giving them any medication, including vitamins. If an allergic or adverse reaction occurs, stop taking the medicine immediately. It is also important to inform your healthcare provider of all current and past medications your child is taking to ensure proper prescription.