Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center

Pediatricians located in Bel Air, MD

When it comes to children’s health, there’s a lot to sort through as they grow. What may appear to be a cold could be an allergic reaction, or stomach cramps could signal a reaction to certain foods. At Laurel Pediatrics & Teen Medical Center we do not provide specialist allergy services, but we can help parents to identify when their children need to be referred to an allergy specialist. We collaborate with the specialists to provide maintenance management of kids with allergy conditions. To learn more, call our office today.

Allergies Q & A

What are Allergies?

An allergic reaction occurs when your child’s immune system encounters something that it deems dangerous and jumps into action to fight it off.

A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an allergen, and there are several types, including:

  • Foods
  • Drugs
  • Insects
  • Latex
  • Mold
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen, or seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies and food allergies are the most common in children. Among food allergies, the most common allergens are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Gluten

What are the Symptoms of Allergies?

A child’s allergic reaction depends on the type of allergy. When it comes to seasonal allergies, pet dander, and mold, you can expect:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Congestion

These reactions often fool parents into thinking it’s a cold, rather than an allergy.

With food allergies, children may experience any of the above, as well as:

  • Hives
  • Itchy mouth
  • Upset stomach or vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

If your child is allergic to latex or a certain ingredient in your laundry detergent, for example, you might find a rash, itchy skin, or hives.

It’s important to note that if your child displays any of the following, call 911 or get to your local emergency room:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling throat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Chest pain

These are all signs of anaphylactic shock and your child needs immediate medical care.

How are Allergies Treated?

When it comes to treating allergies, we first review your child’s symptoms and performs tests to zero in on the allergen; these might be skin tests or blood tests.

Once the materials triggering the allergic reaction are identified, we will work with you and the specialists to provide ongoing management with medications that include:

  • Inhalers
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Corticosteroid medications

Our providers will also work with you in collaboration with the specialist to continue the long-term plans for managing your child’s allergies, which include trigger avoidance, lifestyle changes, and long-term medications.

Often, children grow out of allergies, but while they have them, there’s much that our office can to do in collaboration with allergy specialists to help you manage them.

If you suspect your child has allergies, call Laurel Pediatric & Teen Medical Center today.