Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered your questions on baby and child allergies including symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.
Missing Sleep asked: My son is asthmatic, so I would like to know the best way to manage this whilst still encouraging him to be active. Outside there can be quite a few triggers for him with all the pollen, so I want to do what I can to keep him well. Thank you :)
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: Hello Missing Sleep.The best way to manage asthma in children is to try to avoid triggers. Many things can make asthma worse. Keep a list of your sons triggers when you discover them, and discuss them with your GP or asthma nurse.It is important to keep children active and encourage outdoor play. Change his clothes immediately after outdoor play and keep his bedroom window closed at peak pollen time.
Mirka Moore asked: I would like to know if my two daughters have a bigger chance to have asthma because their dad suffers with this condition?
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: The causes of asthma are not always clear. In children, asthma is more common in boys than in girls but in adults, women are more likely to have asthma. Asthma may run in families.
mumofthemig asked: Is it is possible for a child to develop an allergy to bee and wasp stings or is it something they will be born with which you won't know about until they get their first sting.
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: The history of a child’s reactions to insect stings is useful in assessing whether they are allergic. Skin prick tests and blood tests are not 100% reliable for insect sting allergy, so sometimes it can be necessary to perform a special skin test (called an intradermal injection) to determine true allergy. Testing is advisable after the child’s first contact with a bee or wasp.
The Mini Mes and Me asked: What natural products can you use to help reduce/prevent hayfever?
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: While there isn't much evidence about how well they work, a number of people try alternative treatments for hay fever. These include: Herbal remedies and supplements. Extracts of the shrub butterbur may help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. There's some limited evidence that spirulina and Tinospora cordifolia also may be effective. Though their benefits are unclear, other herbal remedies for seasonal allergies include capsicum, honey, vitamin C and fish oil.
Alternative therapies. Some people claim that therapies such as acupuncture and homeopathy may help with seasonal allergy symptoms. However, there's no clear evidence showing that these treatments work.
LauraCYMFT asked: What tips can you give us hayfever sufferers?
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: Allergen avoidance is difficult for people with allergy to substances in the air, such as pollen. For example, tiny pollen spores are windborne and travel for miles on air currents. You could:
- Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high
- Limit outdoor trips to rural areas. If you go out, shower and wash your hair on return
- Keep windows closed when indoors and overnight whilst you are sleeping.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses when outdoors to keep allergens out of your eyes.
- Apply an effective pollen barrier around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens.
Ruth asked: How can you tell between an allergy and an intolerance?
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: Hi Ruth, a food intolerance can cause some of the same signs and symptoms as a food allergy but a true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic food reaction can be severe or life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and are limited to digestive problems.
Anonymous2 asked: What is the best rememdy to releive the symptoms of hayfever in babies?
Kamilla Dougherty our Health at Hand nurse answered: Hello Anonymous2. Hayfever symptoms in babies needs to be diagnosed by your doctor. Normally the symptoms can be controlled by using antihistamine liquids which fall into two catogories sedating and no sedating. Piriton liquid which contains Chlorphenamine can be given to children over 1 year old and can be used in babies. However, because it causes drowsiness it is not ideal. Benadryl Allergy Children’s Solution is non sedating so will not cause drowsiness but can only be given to children over 2 years old. Both Piriton Liquid and Benadryl Allergy Children’s solution can be purchased in a pharmacy. For very young babies under 6 months Normal Saline drops can be used for a blocked or runny nose. Sterimar Baby can also be used to clear nasal passages for babies from birth to 3 years.