Pro­tect your child from these sea­sonal cul­prits

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

Spring ush­ers in a feel­ing of fresh­ness and new be­gin­nings. It’s also a time that sig­nals the start of al­lergy sea­son for some. There’s noth­ing to fear so long as you know how to spot the signs and deal with the symp­toms the right way, says Dr As­mita Ma­ha­jan, con­sul­tant neona­tol­o­gist and pae­di­a­tri­cian at SL Ra­heja Hospi­tal - a For­tis As­so­ciate

Spring­time sig­ni­fies new growth, the blos­som­ing of a va­ri­ety of flow­ers and warm weather. Un­for­tu­nately, for some chil­dren it might mean al­ler­gies and ill­nesses. Runny nose, con­ges­tion, itchy or wa­tery eyes, scratchy throat and cough­ing spells are the most com­mon symp­toms. There may be fa­tigue or a re­duced ap­petite, in more se­vere cases. In re­ac­tion to an al­lergy, the hu­man body pro­duces Im­munoglob­u­lin (IgE) an­ti­bod­ies to fight the al­ler­gen with a sub­se­quent his­tamine re­lease. The hy­per- re­spon­sive­ness in the tar­get or­gans like the lungs, nose, gut or skin, is the cause of all the symp­toms. Dur­ing the last few decades, there has been a tremen­dous in­crease in such al­ler­gies be­cause of changes in the en­vi­ron­ment whether in the form of to­bacco smoke, air pol­lu­tion, obe­sity, re­s­pi­ra­tory viruses, etc. Aeroal­ler­gens such as pollen or fun­gal spores are prom­i­nent causes of al­ler­gic dis­eases whose con­cen­tra­tion in out­door air fluc­tu­ates sea­son­ally. How­ever, re­mem­ber that at times, the al­lergy may be due to a pet in the house, es­pe­cially cats.

Kids of­ten in­herit al­ler­gies from their par­ents but they aren’t al­ways al­ler­gic to the same things. You in­herit the abil­ity to be­come al­ler­gic, not the spe­cific al­ler­gen sen­si­tiv­ity. About one in five chil­dren de­velop sea­sonal al­lergy symp­toms by the age of three, al­though the typ­i­cal age for di­ag­no­sis of sea­sonal al­ler­gies is be­tween the ages of four to six. This is due to the fact that al­ler­gies are ini­tially treated as a com­mon cold or vi­ral in­fec­tion.

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