Tag Archive | "allergies"

All About Vaccines: What Adverse Reactions Are Possible?

Children are normally required to be provided various vaccines in accordance to their age.  However, not too many people are familiar with the problems that are linked with adverse reactions to vaccines.  Although these reactions are rare, they definitely require you to be familiar with them.  These reactions are generally caused by hypersensitivity to chickens, eggs, gelatin, antibiotics, and mercury.
Allergies from Antibiotics
 Polio vaccines, MMR or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines, and varicella vaccines contain neomycin which could cause minor skin rashes.  If your child, however, has allergy with this type of antibiotic, it is advised that you do not subject your child to this type of vaccine. On the other hand, children that are allergic to penicillin antibiotic are safe to take this vaccine as no vaccine contains this type of antibiotic.
Allergies from Eggs and/or Chickens
 The vaccine commonly called as the “flu shot” or the influenza vaccine has egg proteins.  People, in general, who have an allergic reaction to eggs or chicken, should never take this kind of vaccine.
For people who travels especially in tropical countries like Africa, chances are you may be prone to Yellow fever.  However, yellow fever vaccines also do contain egg protein.  What can be done to resolve this is to take two skin tests using the vaccine.  If both skin tests did not show any reaction, you or your child may proceed with taking the vaccine.  If any of the two tests presented a reaction, this means that a desensitization process has started.
The MMR vaccines are safe to be taken by children with egg or chicken allergies.  Children with dramatic egg allergies are also improbable to have any adverse reaction to this type of vaccine.
Allergies from Gelatin
  There are a number of live vaccines that use gelatin as their stabilizing agent.  Children who have severe allergic reaction to gelatin are advised to take skin tests first before taking these vaccines.  Gelatins either come from boiled hogs or cows.  Most gelatins come from boiled cows.  Vaccines that contain gelatin usually come from boiled hogs.  You will need to determine first what type of gelatin your child is allergic to. Vaccines that have gelatin in their ingredients are MMR, yellow fever vaccines, and varicella.
Allergies from Mercury
Mercury also referred to as thimerosal in vaccines, is a component found in some vaccines.  This is usually used in killing contaminants in the body.  Although severe allergic reactions to this ingredient are rare, children who are allergic to mercury should still be cautious.  Vaccines that use this as an ingredient are usually those that are found in a multi-dose tablets.
Vaccines that are typically included in the routine schedule are free from mercury or thimerosal or contain only a small amount.  There are also a number of inactivated influenza vaccines available.  However, these types of influenza vaccines have limited supply.  The PHS or the Public Health Service and the AAP or the American Academy of Pediatrics has already taken steps to eliminate the use of mercury as an ingredient to vaccines.  Preservatives were also required, especially those for multi-dose vials to avoid any forms of microbial contamination that happens when the vial is unwrapped.  All manufacturers of these types of vaccines were persuaded to look for other options of preventing contamination.

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Seasonal Allergies: What Every Parent Should Know

As a child, you experienced the same kind of problem and you know how sometimes horrified your mother looked like knowing that you are again experiencing a bout of seasonal allergies. Now, as a parent, you wonder if there are more things you could do to help your child who is in the same situation as you were in the past.

Truly, seasonal allergies otherwise called hay fever is a reaction of our body to particles in the air like mold or pollen that should not be lightly taken. If you live somewhere near a forested area or if you maintain a garden full of weeds and grass, you and your family are at risk of suffering from the said condition. Your child will also likely acquire the condition if either you or your partner has the condition. The chances are doubled if both parents have the condition.

Basically, you’ll know that your child is suffering from the disorder if he develops the signs and symptoms like a runny nose that secretes clear to whitish secretions, congestion, watery eyes and a scratchy throat. As opposed to a i all-year round allergy, a seasonal allergy happens during a specific period of the year and will disappear in a few weeks.

If you think your child has hay fever, it is not a good idea to dismiss the symptoms and just do nothing about it. Although studies profess that allergies may come and go; it is but necessary to be able to seek treatment or relief from the problem. Children may not be able to verbalize or figure it out but because of hay fever, they will have difficulty concentrating in school, easily fatigued in tasks and they will certainly be hard up in trying to get an adequate amount of sleep. The worst conditions will also show up in the future as reflected in chronic problems like ear infections, asthma, sinusitis and other similar diseases. Another sign you may to have to observe is when your child seems to let out a few sneezes once he is the comfort of your own home with the airconditioner turned on. This applies the same when your kid seems to be livelier in your car than in your garden.

These said, you’ll have to go visit your healthcare provider. In the clinic, your kid, after careful examination and evaluation mostly on history taking, the doctor may refer you to an allergist who will then determine specific problems related to allergy by performing a skin test. A skin test is performed by using an allergen pricked into the surface of the skin. After a while, the skin is checked if rashes appear as a reaction to the specific allergen. At times, intradermal testing is also made to ensure that the allergens are appropriately identified other than the use of skin testing.

If your child really suffers from seasonal allergies, then the doctor will likely suggest the use of a saline nasal rinse as well as over-the-counter anti-histamines. And, for the duration of the season, you’ll have to shield your child from pollen and mold exposure.

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Food Choices For Kids With Allergies

A growing public health concern includes food allergy. Statistics in the United States has suggested that about three million children in the United States suffer from allergy. This statistics also reflect the significant number of outpatient care given to these affected children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pegged the number at 300,000 every year.

With this, it is important for families as well as other carers and guardians to be on the lookout for these kinds of conditions. There is no cure for food allergies and the best defense defense is being wary of crucial information and steps to be taken to avoid life-threatening situations. It is noteworthy to know that a considerable number of the population who suffered from such reaction ate something they reportedly thought was safe. Additionally, even very small amounts of the allergen can cause the allergy.

Topping the list of the common allergens, aside from being identified as a cause of food intolerance is milk specifically cow’s milk, soya milk and goat’s milk. Other milk-based products also include buttermilk, cheese, yogurt, margarine and ice cream. In this case, there are other milk substitutes one can consider like hydrolyzed or elemental formulas. As for the older children, there are calcium-fortified juices that are readily available in the market. Other sources of Calcium also include green leafy vegetables, orange, broccoli and salmon. Soy milk on the other hand are present in veggie burgers, tofu and soybean oil.

Apart from milk, eggs also cause allergies specifically the white portion. The proteins in the egg whites cause allergies; that is why, it is important to avoid giving egg whites to babies and younger children. Be reminded that egg whites also constitute delectable foods like pancakes, ice cream, puddings, cookies and cakes.

Peanuts and tree nuts are also included in the list. As these are nutritious, these can also be very life-threatening. It is said that amongst Americans, around 1.3% suffer from this specific food allergen. Nuts can be found in any cuisine but it is more commonly found in Asian dishes. Even in trace amounts, nuts can cause allergies so be very careful in giving your kids candies, chocolates and baked goods. Additionally, teach your child to avoid these foods while they are still young to avoid any future problems and to train them as well.

Wheat can also be a problem. It is a good idea to offer rice or oat cereal to your child before attempting to introduce wheat. Wheat can also be found in breads and pasta.

Finally, some children also suffer from sea food allergy; although this sensitivity often occurs with adults, it is best to prepare for any hypersensitivity reaction. Any dish that has shellfish or any other fish oil should be avoided as much as possible.

Most importantly, even at a tender age, start educating your child about his condition. Your kid might have difficulty understanding his situation but with your patience and your constant reminders, you need not worry  a great deal.

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Understanding Allergies: How do I know if my child has food allergy?

I’m certain that everyone would agree with me when I say, food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The main reason why we eat is because our bodies need food for its survival. We cannot live without food and it is every organism’s basic need. Food is one of the 3 essential components of life itself, with oxygen and water being the other 2. Even before we were born, when we were still inside our mother’s womb, we already started eating. The placenta which is one of the products of conception provided the much needed nourishment essential for every developing fetus. Once we’re born, the first food we ever have is our mother’s milk. As we begin to grow, our food choices and options also grow with it. We start with soft baby food, milk and dairy products, followed by vegetables, fruits and cereals, then fish, meat and poultry. Eating would eventually become one of the greatest experiences and adventures of life, influenced by culture, food preferences and food allergies. Our body is as equally as varied as the types of food available in the world. We can tolerate some food items, but some of them can make us feel sick. These foods might even cause rashes to appear on our skin, swellings to show on our faces and breathing difficulties to manifest. All of these are a result from an allergic reaction.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 3 million children in the United States of America, under the age of 18 suffer from food allergies. This incidence has increased by 18% since 1997.  Among these children, food allergies are highest on the 0-5 age group in both males and females. Food allergies manifest symptoms which include itchy skin rashes, wheezing, difficulty breathing, nausea, nasal symptom, vomiting, diarrhea and swelling around the mouth and throat. These symptoms usually develop a few minutes or hours after ingestion. Allergic reactions might vary from mild, moderate to severe depending on the amount ingested and how allergic the child is to the food. Severe reactions also called anaphylaxis can be life threatening and needs to be treated right away. To prevent food allergies, simply avoid the food that causes them. For children, to determine the foods their allergic to, observe for any allergic symptoms or reactions that might occur after coming in contact with certain food items. In some cases, allergic reactions do not show after a single exposure, it might take several contacts with the allergen for symptoms to develop. Aside from observing which food causes allergies, the child’s pediatrician or an allergy specialist can perform a RAST (radioallergosorbent) test, to check for specific allergies found in the blood. The most common food items, many children are allergic to include the following, milk which is also found in children who have milk intolerance, egg either to the white, yolk or both, soy products, wheat, peanuts, and seafood.

Majority of children who have food allergies tend to “grow-out” of their allergies when they reach their teenage years.

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Common Causes of Skin Rashes in Children

Sometimes, even if mothers give the most resolute kind of care to their children; the fact remains that there really are some things in life that cannot be eliminated, let alone, be avoided. Although, arming yourself with information will help you cope with different problems that might come your way during motherhood.

A rash is obviously a reaction of the skin to something; the reasons may be varied but it will boil down to a situation or condition that does not seem to fit the delicate skin of children. During the diagnosis of the problem, the associated symptoms are the ones that are investigated as these give the clue on what exactly is the problem. Since most rashes are almost always the same, it is important to be able to decipher the difference. Yet, as a precautionary measure, your doctor or a trusted healthcare personnel should be your resource person in evaluating the rashes although admittedly, rashes are rarely an urgent matter in the past compared to these days with epidemics happening anywhere.

The most common cause of these bumps is an allergic reaction. Your child could be suffering from being exposed to harsh and irritating agents like bath soap, the detergent used in clothes and even the clothes he is wearing. Be wary when his rashes are accompanied by difficulty in breathing as this could indicate an allergic reaction to foods. Moreover, a bee sting could also be possible. The breathing difficulty should be a reason to rush your child to the hospital. Otherwise, if the rashes are pretty much controllable particularly when a child has colds or fever, then, the hospital rush is not exactly necessary.

A collective group of viral illnesses is also identified as a common cause. Chicken Pox, Roseola, Coxsackie and Fifth Disease could be culprits of the rashes. These rashes are accompanied with fever. Distinctively, Chicken Pox rashes start as the ones similar to insect bites and then progresses to blisters; these eruptions take undergo several change in the features over time but Day 3 will really tell you if it is indeed the disease. On the other hand, Roseola is a condition that has the rash disappearing on the fourth day. The rash starts from the upper trunk specifically the back until it spreads to the extremities.  Coxsackie, meanwhile, is just concentrated on the mouth, hand and feet. Finally, the Fifth disease will look like your child has been slapped in the cheeks which then spreads to the trunk then the extremities. Accompanied by a runny nose and cough, the disease disappears with relatively no complications. Measles, another condition caused by a virus are also pointed as common causes. The drill is to make sure that the child is protected by a vaccine; if not, a doctor should be seen immediately.

Certain conditions of the skin referring to eczema, warts, facial rash, scabies, dermatitis, ringworm and impetigo are also some common causes of skin rashes. These situations necessitate the use of medications as opposed to heat rash and insect bites where helping the child feel cooler and a gentle touch in the affected area works out.

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Common Inherited Health Problems and How to Spot Them in Your Child

Everyone wants to have their child pick up the best traits of each of his parents. If the dad is highly intellectual or if the mom is very attractive, one would wish to have the child of these two, inherit both qualities, so the child would end up smart and beautiful. Physical attributes are not the only traits that are passed on to children; our body’s genes also pass on health problems and diseases. What are these common inherited health problems? And How can we determine if the child is affected or not?

There are 6 common inherited health problems that affect a lot of families in the United States of America. First health problem is with vision, according to Dr. Stuart Dankner M.D., a pediatrician ophthalmologist in Baltimore; problems such as near sightedness, lazy eye, and color blindness are all hereditary. Parents can suspect if their child has visual problems if they observe him experiencing any of these symptoms, frequent headaches, squinting and tearing up especially after reading or watching TV. If eye problem is present in both parents, it is best to have the child regularly checked by an ophthalmologist. The second health problem is eczema; a skin disorder characterized by dry, red, itchy skin patches believed to be caused by an allergic reaction to certain irritants such as extreme weather, egg and dairy products. Eczema is easy to spot, and if the parent suspects her child of having such condition, it is advisable to seek consult from a specialist. The third hereditary health problem is migraine; these severe headaches have a 50% chance of getting passed on if one parent has it, more so if both of them have it. Similar to how adults manifest migraine, children will also feel a throbbing pain on the front or sides of the head, usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light and sound. As always, it is always best to consult a specialist to manage and treat this condition. The fourth problem is Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, the major symptom of this disease is abdominal pain and alternating diarrhea and constipation. If found to have IBS, consult with a pediatrician and modify the child’s diet eliminating food that triggers such condition. The fifth health problem that can be passed on is allergies; there is more than 50% chance of inheriting allergies if either of the parents has it. Allergies can be triggered by different sources and can manifest in various ways such as colds, runny nose, skin rashes, eye swelling and in severe cases breathing difficulties. The child’s pediatrician might prescribe mild antihistamines to manage allergies. The final health problem that can be inherited by the child is psychological and emotional issues. Personality disorders, mood disorders and several anxiety disorders are highly genetic and children are strongly predisposed. To spot children who might be experiencing psychological or emotional disturbances, observe the child for depression, unusual sadness, irritability, and mood swings.

Early detection of these hereditary health problems is as important as treating the disease itself. Be very observant and always be wary of what your child has, learn how to spot the unusual.

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