SPRINGTIME ALLERGIES AND HOW TO CARE FOR IT
Protect your child from these seasonal culprits
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.