Babies, Summer, and Allergic Reactions | Woombie

If your child has seasonal allergies, like hay fever, there may be some triggers in their environment that they can't avoid.  These can include grasses, weeds, and trees that release pollen during spring, summer, and fall. Also there are insects that can cause severe allergic reactions, especially in babies and toddlers. 

Fortunately, there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help ease symptoms. But if your child experiences more serious allergy symptoms, such as a rash or hives, it's best to call 911 and seek medical care immediately.

Why is Summer the Worst Time for Allergies?

The summer months can be a fun and memorable time of year for babies and kids, but it can also bring on allergies. This is due to the fact that the outdoor air is polluted by seasonal allergens such as grass, weed and tree pollen.

This can result in sneezing, itchy eyes and nasal congestion. It can also cause stomach aches and a sore throat.

To combat these symptoms, it's best to create a strategy that includes avoidance of allergens. This might mean keeping peanuts out of the house or switching to a hypoallergenic detergent.

It's also worth noting that many allergy symptoms can be relieved by a simple antihistamine. 

However, if you're concerned about your baby's symptoms or they seem too frequent to be ignored, it's worth contacting your pediatrician for further help. They can recommend a course of allergy medication, immunotherapy (allergy shots), or a combination of the two. 

You might also need to carry an EpiPen, an injector that delivers a lifesaving dose of epinephrine in the event of an emergency.

Seasonal Allergies

As the spring rolls around, babies are waking up with runny noses and itchy eyes. Usually, they are just a cold, but sometimes the symptoms linger well beyond a week or two.

While this can be frustrating, it's actually pretty normal for babies to have a reaction to the spring season. The symptoms are similar to a cold, but are much more intense.

Allergies happen when tiny particles of tree, grass and weed pollen enter the eyes, nose or throat and trigger an allergic reaction. In the spring, flower and tree pollen is common; weeds and mold spores cause symptoms in the summer and fall.

Symptoms usually begin at age 2 to 5 years, and peak in school-age children, teens and young adults. But kids can be allergic to indoor allergens, like dust and pet dander, at any time.

Grass Pollen Allergy

The itchy red eyes, runny nose and trouble breathing that you see in your baby may be a sign that she has a grass pollen allergy. However, it’s important to note that most babies don’t develop seasonal allergies until they’re about 3 years old.

Grass and tree pollens bloom in the spring and linger through summer. Mold spores can also cause hay fever symptoms in the fall.

A child needs to have both itchy eyes and a runny nose to be diagnosed with a seasonal allergy, and if you’re wondering if your baby has a grass pollen allergy, you can get an accurate diagnosis by having her take a skin test or blood test.

Avoiding allergens can help alleviate symptoms, and your doctor will suggest ways to do this. For example, you can use a saline nasal rinse to cleanse your child’s nose of pollen and other airborne irritants. 

You can also put a HEPA filter on your home’s central air conditioner to reduce indoor pollen levels. And if avoidance and medications aren’t working, ask your doctor about allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Weed Pollen Allergy

Weed pollen is an allergy that affects millions of people worldwide. It also can trigger a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing.

There are many types of weeds that cause allergies, but the most common is ragweed. It can cause allergic rhinitis, which causes your body to release histamines.

It is common for children with weed pollen allergy to sneeze frequently and have itchy nose or eyes. They may also have coughing and itchy throats.

If your child has a weed pollen allergy, avoid exposure to it whenever possible, and take antihistamines or nasal sprays to control symptoms. If your child’s symptoms are not under control with these remedies, talk to your doctor about allergy immunotherapy.

During the summer, try to limit your child’s time outdoors on shady, humid or windy days. These days tend to have higher pollen counts.

Mosquito Bite Allergy

Mosquitoes are a common summertime nuisance, but they can also cause itchy bites on babies and kids. If you’re worried about your baby getting bitten, there are steps you can take to help protect them.

The first step is to take care not to provide breeding surface for mosquitoes around your home and to prevent their nesting near the place where you live. 

The second step is to know what a mosquito bite looks like and how it works. It typically starts out as a small, pink or red bump that turns darker and harder. 

Next, try using a mosquito repellent that contains up to 10% of the chemical DEET. It is safe to use on infants and can be applied to the skin or clothing.

You can also reduce the itching on your child by applying 1% hydrocortisone cream, which can be bought without a prescription. Put it on the itchy area 3 times a day until the itch goes away. You can also apply a baking soda paste to the affected area.

Bees, Babies and Allergies

Some people believe that giving their child honey from local bees may help them to feel better. But Ekta Shah, a pediatric allergist with Carolinas HealthCare System, says the truth is that this has never been proven to be true.

Babies who are allergic to stinging insects can have a severe reaction that requires immediate treatment. This is known as anaphylaxis and can be fatal.

To determine whether a child is at risk for an allergic reaction to bee stings, we need to know their history of symptoms and test them with blood and skin testing.

A sting from bees, wasps, yellow jackets or fire ants can cause a venom allergy in some children. This reaction is characterized by itching, swelling and hives. The symptoms can be mild or severe and can occur anywhere on the body, including the mouth.

Sun Allergy

Sun allergies occur when changes in the skin from ultraviolet (UV) light trigger an allergic reaction. This can result in rashes, tiny blisters or other types of skin eruptions.

Some people are more sensitive to the sun than others. This is especially true for babies with lighter skin.

If you think your child may have a sun allergy, speak to your doctor about self-care tips and over-the-counter medication. You can also visit a dermatologist for the right diagnosis.

The most common type of sun allergy is polymorphic light eruption, which occurs when a person's skin becomes hypersensitive to the sunlight. This can lead to an itchy red rash on the skin.

It usually clears up within a few days, though it can come and go on different areas of the body.

Another form of sun allergy is solar urticaria, which causes itchy, red hives on sun-exposed skin. This can happen in young children or women who are pregnant.

This condition can be prevented by using sunscreen with at least SPF 30 on the baby's exposed skin before going outside, reapplying regularly and after swimming or sweating. 

If your child is sensitive to sunscreen ingredients, try a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free version.

Final Words

Allergies can range from a mild irritant to a full-blown life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis. While there’s no way to predict exactly when and where your baby may have his first allergic reaction, a good doctor can provide advice and reassurance. 

The best approach is to be proactive and take note of any new or recurring symptoms your child may be having. The best way to do this is to record the details of the allergy so you can share them with your doctor. You might also want to consider a special diet if your child is suffering from multiple allergies.