After weeks or even months of a cranky infant, it is often difficult for parents to tell what is taking place in their child’s body. This includes understanding exactly when a baby is experiencing an allergy or allergic reaction to their natural environment or the food that they eat. While some allergies may cause nothing more than slight discomfort, others can lead to serious medical issues that must be avoided at all costs. This is why all parents should have a good grasp on exactly how to test their child for various common allergies, what to do when an allergic reaction has taken place, the best methods for avoiding a reaction, and how to treat them with allergy medication.
Due to the fact that infants cannot speak to their parents about discomfort, it is especially important for parents to remain vigilant about any signs that are taking place with their children. It is also essential for parents to understand which of these symptoms and side effects are more common and which will require immediate attention by a medical professional. In the case of food and environmental allergies, some of the most common side effects include hives, swelling, redness, a rash, a stuffy nose, a runny nose, itching eyes, and watery eyes. If these side effects go away after a short period, it generally means that the child has experienced only a minor allergic reaction.
Severe symptoms that require immediate attention by a medical professional include swelling of the tongue and lips, difficulty breathing, a spreading of the hives or rash, and severe discoloration of the skin, especially blue and pale white hues. When these symptoms occur, parents should get help immediately to prevent further injury to their infant. While ongoing eczema may exacerbate a food allergy, it is not necessary the result of these bodily reactions and the child may benefit from allergy medication that has been specifically designed for infants.
The first step in preventing a severe or ongoing allergic reaction is to maintain a healthy diet while pregnant and during the breastfeeding process as the health of the infant is closely tied to a mother during this period. Healthy Canada currently suggests that, whenever possible, babies should be exclusively breastfed for 4 to 6 months with the mother’s milk providing all of the vitamins and nutrients that the child will need. As new foods are introduced into the child’s diet, parents should speak with their primary healthcare provider in order to understand possible allergens and the allergy medication that they will require.
In the coming months, parents can introduce any number of fresh foods to their infant, carefully gauging any changes in the child’s demeanor or their reaction to the foods. Some of the top choices during this period include fortified infant cereal, fresh produce, and thinly sliced meats. By keeping a close eye on the infant’s reaction to food and the changing seasons, parents can ensure that their children grow up healthy with only limited allergic responses throughout the years.
Paul Chai is a health & wellness enthusiast writer with interests around allergy medication and treatments.