Frequently Asked Questions: Allergies in babies

Allergies in babies

Frequently Asked Questions: Allergies in babies

Allergies are extremely common worldwide, with figures rising consistently over the past fifty years. As adults, we can tell when something’s not right and get the help we need, but babies can’t do this. Rates of sensitivity in children are approaching around 40% worldwide. 

Babies can’t tell you how they’re feeling. So it’s important you’re aware of all potential allergens and note any changes to your baby.

Could my baby have hay fever?

While you can get hay fever at any age, the likelihood of developing it so young is slim. It tends to begin in childhood or in the teenage years.They haven’t lived long enough to come into contact with pollen year after year, so it’s hard to gauge whether or not it’s hay fever. After all, the symptoms are similar to a cold.

Is it a cold or an allergy?

Allergy symptoms can be similar to a common cold, making them difficult to identify. If your baby has cold-like symptoms, it’s important to pay attention to their duration and what is or isn’t accompanying them.

A common cold will stick around for two weeks or so, whereas allergy symptoms will likely last a bit longer. A fever doesn’t accompany an allergic reaction, so if your baby has one you’ll know it’s a cold. If you suspect they’re experiencing aches and pains, it’ll also be a cold rather than an allergic reaction.

Can I prevent my child from developing a food allergy?

It’s easy to assume that you should avoid feeding your baby common allergens. But, believe it or not, doing this can actually increase your baby’s chance of developing an allergy. 

A 2015 study found that early introduction of peanuts decreased the prevalence of peanut allergies amongst children. Research suggests that – even with children who are at high risk for allergies – you should introduce common allergy-producing foods to your child between 6 and 12 months.

However, it’s not enough to give them peanut paste once and then never again; this is even more likely to encourage an intolerance. Try and give your child these foods regularly. When introducing top allergy-producing foods to your child, always be extra cautious of any changes or symptoms. Find more information here.

It can be difficult to identify allergies in babies because they’re unable to express how they’re feeling. It’s important you keep a note of any contact with potential allergens and watch your baby closely. If you come across anything that looks like cause for concern, go to your doctor, even if it seems minor.

If you want more guidance on allergies in babies, or want to book an allergy test for yourself or your little one, give us a call on 02031 433 499.

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