• Pediatric Consultants

Allergies 201

Last week we introduced the topic of allergies, and gave some basic definitions to start; this week we'll look at how you should handle allergies, and what we can do to help as your pediatrician.

What we (your pediatrician) can do

Diagnose the problem by:

-Asking about your symptoms and medical history

-Doing a physical exam and skin tests

-Ordering laboratory blood tests or x-rays

-Referring you to a doctor who specializes in allergy treatment.

Treatment includes: medications that help open the airways; antihistamines to relive itching, sneezing, and runny nose or decongestants; steroids, which may be sprayed in the nose, inhaled, or given orally; allergy shots, which help to decrease the sensitivity to specific allergens.

What you can do

  • Pay attention to what causes a reaction, and eliminating it or avoiding contact.

  • Breastfeeding for as long as you can helps to prevent many allergies in young infants.

  • As you introduce foods to your child, do so gradually, one at a time, and watch for signs of allergies.

  • Keep windows closed, especially when it is windy and pollen counts are high.

  • Keep the house dry to reduce molds and free of dust.

  • Keeps pets and plants that trigger allergies outside.

  • DO NOT permit smoking in your home or car, or near your child.

  • Keep air conditioning filters clean.

  • Determine if soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. has ingredients that cause a reaction and avoid them.

  • Wear gloves when handling any items that cause skin irritation and replace suspect household cleansers with something else.

  • Consult your physician before taking any over-the-counter medications, especially if you are also on prescription medicines.

Seek immediate medical attention: If you suspect a severe allergic reaction! Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, swelling in the head or neck, or lips turning blue.

When in doubt, call either office and we will advise you!

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