One in five children has hay fever. Though fewer children have food allergies, their allergens put them at risk of having severe, life-threatening reactions. No matter what allergy affects your child, Maria Hoffman-Guardia, MD, at Pediatric Associates at Ridge in McAllen, Texas, can help. She has years of experience providing allergy testing and customized treatments, including allergy shots. If you suspect your child has allergies, call the office to schedule an appointment or use the online booking feature today.
Allergies occur because of a misguided immune response. The immune system normally identifies and attacks harmful substances like bacteria and viruses. But allergies begin when it labels a harmless substance as dangerous to your child. Then that substance becomes an allergen that triggers your child’s allergy symptoms.
The most common allergens in children include:
Most food allergies come from peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, soy, sesame, fish, and shellfish.
Your child will experience one or more of the following symptoms, depending on their allergen:
Some allergies may trigger reactions in several body systems, causing a severe, life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
Any severe allergy can cause anaphylaxis, but this dangerous reaction most often occurs in children with food, insect sting, medication, and latex allergies.
Anaphylaxis happens rapidly, causing symptoms that quickly worsen. In addition to the typical allergy symptoms listed above, your child may experience:
At the first sign of anaphylaxis, immediately use an epinephrine pen (if you have one) and call 911 for emergency medical care. Without treatment, anaphylaxis can cause shock and turn life-threatening.
After learning about your child’s symptoms and medical history, your provider may perform allergy testing to identify their specific allergens.
Allergy treatment includes:
Your provider helps you make a plan for limiting your child’s exposure to allergens. If they have a food allergy, all items containing that protein must be eliminated from their diet.
Decongestants and antihistamines ease most allergy symptoms and may be enough to keep mild allergies under control.
Your provider may recommend allergy shots for moderate to severe allergies and allergies likely to cause anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis is a concern, they prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector and teach you (and your child if age appropriate) how to use it.
Call Pediatric Associates at Ridge or use the online booking feature right away to learn if your child’s symptoms are caused by allergies.