ChristianaCare

Illness and Allergies

Mother wiping nose of baby son with tissue

Allergies are problems of the immune system. Most allergic reactions happen when the immune system reacts to a “false alarm.” Normally, the human body defends itself against harmful things, such as viruses or bacteria. But sometimes the defenses violently attack mostly mild things, such as dust, mold, or pollen.

These allergies usually show up in infancy or childhood and can disrupt your child’s ability to sleep well, function in school and go about their daily lives.

Find a Doctor

If you suspect your child has an allergy, get in touch with a healthcare professional so that they can undergo tests.

What are the symptoms of allergies in a child?

An allergic reaction can happen anywhere in the body. This includes the skin, eyes, lining of the stomach, nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. These are the places where immune system cells are found to fight off germs that are in breathed in, swallowed, or come in contact with the skin.

The immune system makes large amounts of the antibodies called immunoglobin E (IgE). This is a complex chemical weapon that attacks and kills the “enemy.” Each IgE antibody exactly targets a certain allergen or thing that causes the allergy. In this way, inflammatory chemicals are made and given off. This causes the child to feel some bad or even life-threatening symptoms.

Allergic reactions can cause:

  • Stuffy nose, sneezing, itching, or runny nose, and itching in ears or roof of mouth.
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes.
  • Red, itchy, dry skin.
  • Hives or itchy welts.
  • Itchy rash.
  • Asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Low blood pressure during a severe reaction.