Though allergies are common in children, the good news is there are also several treatment options available to manage with the allergy. Here we are discussing the treatment strategies for allergies in kids.
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT
The best thing to avoid an allergy is limiting the exposure of it to the minimum. However in some instances it is not possible. A pediatrician can help in giving your child the right medication, the right dose for your child’s age, weight and height. Allergy medicines are usually prescribed for children who are older than six months. The following are the categories of effective allergy medicines available for children.
1. Antihistamines: These antihistamines are available upon prescription or as over the counter medicines and are used to treat hay fever and other allergies. Whenever an allergic reaction happens, histamine is released that causes sneezing, itchy and runny nose and mucus production. These antihistamines block the release of histamine thereby reducing the symptoms of allergy. Antihistamines are available in the form of syrup, chewable or melt away form. These medicines make your child drowsy and they are usually prescribed before bedtime. However new generation antihistamines make your child less drowsy.
2. Nasal corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are available in the form of ointments, creams, nasal sprays, inhalers, and pills or liquids. Nasal sprays are designed to relieve nasal inflammation and itchy, runny noses. Steroid creams and ointments are prescribed for children with eczema. Nasal corticosteroids are prescribed as a single dose per day and they need to be used for a certain period of time and not occasionally. There are no major side effects during long term use of these nasal sprays.
3. Decongestants: In some cases, decongestants are prescribed along with antihistamines to help relieve from nasal congestion and stuffiness. Decongestants usually contain phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine and are not recommended in children who are less than four years old. These medicines help in relieving the congestion by shrinking the blood vessels in the nose. Decongestants can be stimulants and can cause children to turn to be anxious or hyperactive, cause a faster heart rate and trouble falling asleep. They are not intended to be used for long term use.
4. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is usually recommended for children who are older than five years of age. This form of therapy is designed to treat allergies to airborne allergies like pollen, dust and outdoor mold. In this form of treatment a child is given an allergen extract to which he is allergic to, in mild doses via injection for every couple of weeks, then every few months. The effect of the extract reaches the maximum after 6 to 12 months of injections. The injections are continued for three to five years and then stopped. Most children will not have any symptoms thereafter. The aim of immunotherapy is to make the immune system get used to the allergen over time, so that a child gradually will not experience any allergy symptoms.
There can be mild side effects to immunotherapy like local reactions which include redness and swelling. If this reaction is seen repeatedly, the dose of the allergen extract is minimized. Sometimes some systemic reactions to immunotherapy have also been reported that includes sneezing, swelling, wheezing and low blood pressure.