Allergies are unfortunately a common concern for us parents, and they can be scary to deal with. They can also be subtle, which can make our kids cranky and upset for seemingly no reason, until we dive deep and realize allergies might be the culprit!
Disclaimer: we are not doctors, simply experienced parents who have allergies and have children with allergies!
How do allergies develop, and do they go away?
It’s hard to predict when or if allergies may develop, but a good predictor is if a parent or sibling has an allergy. Those with preexisting autoimmune issues are more likely to have or develop allergies as well. Some allergies go away as children grow, and other more severe allergies are likely to stay for the duration of one’s life. Also, allergies can develop at any point over the years, so even if a child doesn’t start out life with an allergy they can develop one down the road, and we can even develop them into adulthood.
Types of allergies
There are many different kinds of allergies, and the most common are food allergies and environmental allergies. Environmental allergies are those that may be from substances or particles in the air, or on something that one comes in contact with. Food allergies are of course from food that is consumed or in severe cases, simply smelled or come in contact with (although this is rare).
Signs and symptoms of allergies
Allergies commonly manifest as:
-rash around the mouth
However, these are not the only ways allergies can manifest themselves, and It can also be difficult to figure out what causes them when they happen because the symptoms can manifest themselves right away, hours later, or even up to a day later. This can make it hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the allergies, so getting a test is the most beneficial way to find the allergy triggers.
What to do if you think your child has allergies
- Make an appointment with your pediatrician
If you are wondering if your child’s reaction to something could be from an allergy, make an appointment with your pediatrician. They can usually help you determine whether or not it’s worth testing for allergies, and can help you with the test or refer you to someone who can. However, your know your child best
- Find a physician that performs muscle testing
Some may look for an alternative and sometimes more comprehensive method of allergy testing, and a good option for that is finding a naturopathic doctor that performs muscle testing, sometimes referred to as a “traditional naturopath”. In a very small nutshell, muscle testing takes the fac that allergies weaken our body and uses that to determine allergies and the severity of allergies by how our bodies react to the proximity of allergens.
- Order an at-home blood test
If you don’t want to go out or you are currently choosing to stay home, there are great options for contactless, at-home blood tests you can do on your own! They do involve pricking a finger, so if you struggle with that then getting muscle testing or having someone else pricking your child’s finger may be a better option. Some at-home tests are also more comprehensive than others, so do some research before choosing one.
- When to head to the ER
If your child is turning blue, is having trouble breathing, or their lips or tongue are swelling, it is very likely they are going into anaphylactic shock and it might be best to call 911 right away.
Your health professional will likely tell you to cut out the foods that are causing the allergies, and may recommend a probiotic to heal the gut health and immune system of your child to fight their allergens. Alternative doctors may also recommend other natural regimens as well. Topical treatments like oat baths and good, natural eczema balms will help with things like hives, eczema, and rashes. Overall, allergies will take some time and likely some family adjustment, and your child may grow out of some of them, but they are possible to manage and it gets easier over time. You are not alone, mama!