Babies can suffer from allergies just like older children and adults. Because your baby cannot talk, they cannot tell you what is irritating them, so you need to know the signs.
There can be many things your baby interacts with that could cause an allergic reaction, including powdered baby milk and the creams used to treat nappy rashes. Here is how to spot the symptoms in your baby and what you can do about them.
How Do You Know A Baby Is Having An Allergic Reaction?
An allergic reaction is the body’s immune system attacking a substance that it sees as a threat, even if the substance is benign and will not harm the body. These reactions can be painful and distressing, especially for infants.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction are the same in a baby as they are in a child or an adult. Allergic reactions need to be treated quickly to prevent the symptoms from escalating and increasing the discomfort the baby feels.
It is possible to test children for allergies. At the Children's Allergy Doctors you can have tests performed that will identify the allergens that trigger the reactions so you can prevent exposure. They will also help you decide how to treat allergic reactions when they happen.
What Are The Symptoms Of An Allergic Reaction?
Common symptoms of an allergy in a baby include sneezing, a runny or blocked nose, and reddened or itchy eyes. Reactions can also cause rashes on the arms, face, and torso. If your baby already suffers from eczema or asthma, these conditions can worsen or ‘flare up’ if an infant is experiencing an allergic reaction.
Most symptoms are very mild and may be treated with a low-dose antihistamine syrup that is suitable for infants. If the symptoms are more severe and include difficulty breathing, you should seek medical advice immediately by going to your local accident and emergency centre.
Can The Risk Of Developing An Allergy Be Reduced?
The best protection against developing an allergy that you can give your baby is by breastfeeding them for at least six months.
Many studies have shown that breastfeeding helps children do develop strong immune systems, and it reduces their exposure to cow’s milk in powdered baby milk formula that may cause an allergic reaction. Breastfeeding a child can also reduce the chances of them developing eczema.
Can Allergies Be Inherited?
If both parents have a history of allergies, then the chances of their baby having allergies increase. The parents do not need to share the same allergy, it can be any allergic reaction, and the child may react to allergens unique from both its parents. Having allergies is genetic, but specific allergies are not.
When both parents suffer from allergies there is a 60-80% chance their child will share it too. If one parent has an allergy there is a 20-40% chance it will be passed down to their baby. Even if a child has parents without any allergies, there is still a 15% chance a child will develop one.
If your baby seems irritated or upset, remember that it could be an allergic reaction. Hopefully, this guide has given you enough information to spot the symptoms and treat the reaction.