When then these allergies come into contact with your baby either by ingestion or touch, the body sees them as intruders. It is this fight by the body immune system that results in the above named symptoms and depending on the level of allergen exposure, the symptoms may be mild, irregular or severe. Severe reactions can be very life threatening and can be evidenced by shocks and difficult breathing. It may even lead to death.
Parents are sometimes unable to tell that a baby has an allergy. In fact, most allergies are often thought to be as a result of a cold at the onset or plain baby fussiness but this is not so. You need to be aware of some symptoms of baby allergies, so that you can watch out for them. For instance, if your baby always has a persistent cold, lasting over a week with watery discharge, that may not just be an ordinary cold. It’s an indication of allergies.
Because it may take about a year for allergies in babies to become obvious, environmental factors may not be apparent. Some environmental allergies in babies can be caused by insects, dusts, pets, molds or smoke. Common environmental allergy symptoms to monitor are wheezing, nasal congestion, sneezing, asthma, itchiness and coughs.
However, with food allergies, which are more common, you can monitor how well newly introduced foods go with your baby. These repeated reactions can help you determine which food substances gives them allergies especially during the transition from breast milk to formula or from formula to solids. With this knowledge, you can possibly eliminate foods or food substances from your baby’s diet that causes these allergies.
Some of the most common food allergies in babies come from ingesting eggs, fish, nuts, milk, wheat and soy. These allergies may be characterized by a cold, rashes, stomach/digestive problems or wheezing. The older the baby grows, the body system may be able to wade off or outgrow some of these allergies. It is actually easier to outgrow a food allergy than an environmental allergy and even when it’s outgrown; it may resurface in the future.
There are no cures for some allergies; the only thing to do is to protect the baby from any such exposures that may trigger the allergies.
Depending on the kind of allergy, you may undertake the following preventive measures:
- If possible, breastfeed your baby till the sixth month, that way, the immune system is stronger and may not succumb to allergens when other foods are introduced.
- If you are transitioning to formula, you may consider the hypoallergenic type. That way, it is easily absorbed in the system.
- Maintain a clean environment by getting rid of molds, dusts and other common allergens
- You may want to avoid rugs and carpets in your baby’s room to create an airy and dust free environment.
- Get rid of insects in your home, especially cockroaches.
- Watch out for the baby’s reactions when they take milk, soy or nuts.
- Cover mattresses and pillows with soft and smooth cottons, you may need to avoid feather or fluffy pillows.
- Let the beddings be dust proof and also have them washed, at least once a week
- Use hypoallergenic detergents for the baby’s laundry.
- If your baby keeps refusing a particular kind of food, stop forcing it
- Vacuum cleaning will also help eradicate dirt that are not visible
- If your baby is allergic to pets, simply do away with them.
In severe cases, such as in asthma, your baby will be able to get allergy shots to tolerate the allergen better. However, these shots can only be given when the baby is at least 4 years old.