Dr. Armando Correa, an assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM and a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Hospital, offered the following tips:
- While most allergies are mild and cause discomfort, some can be life threatening.
- Parents should seek immediate medical attention if there is difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, tongue or other extremities or if there is repeated episodes. The same goes for food allergies, he said.
- If your child starts experiencing a runny nose, itchy eyes or sneezing, it may be time tostart them on a short-term medication.
- Medication may include over-the-counter for occasional symptoms, but if the systems persist or the medication is not helping, seek the advice of your pediatrician.
- For children under the age of 2 experiencing allergies, always seek medical attention.
- Though difficult to prevent, you can help manage environmental allergies by avoiding places that have just been cleaned or places where pets frequent.
Many allergies are unavoidable, but with careful planning you may be able to prevent issues bypreparing before going outdoors by taking medication, said Correa.
Correa also offered tips on food allergies, which he said are increasing though the reason is unclear, he said.
- If your child has multiple or severe allergies, they should always carry an injectable medication.
- Always read the label of food products and be aware of where they are manufactured.
- Testing on certain allergies, although not routinely recommended, is an option for patients with severe or multiple allergies.
Correa suggested parents always consult their pediatricians on questions related to allergy prevention and management.