Anyone can develop allergies at any point during their life. Children are no exception, even toddlers. Children may develop food allergies or eczema earlier in life, but it usually requires exposure to multiple pollen seasons, to develop allergic rhinitis. Allergies can also be more common for those whose family has a history of allergies. If one parent is allergic, then it has been estimated that a child has about a 50% chance of having allergies. If you’re here, you’ve probably observed some allergy symptoms in your toddler and are wondering if it’s a cold or allergies.
Symptoms of Allergies in Toddlers:
Allergy symptoms in toddlers can show from their head to their toes. The main signs of allergies are watery red eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, allergic “shiners” and itching of the nose. Many parents wonder if allergies could cause a fever in their child. Allergies do not cause a fever; however, a sinus infection or the flu could cause a fever. The typical symptoms of food allergies, on the other hand, are rash, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe allergic shock.
We recommend keeping a note of what symptoms you observe and when to help your pediatrician and board-certified pediatric allergist to diagnose and also help treat your toddler’s allergy symptoms.
Common Allergies in Toddlers:
- Pollen, Insect Bites and Stings
- Mold, dust mites, pet dander (animal hair, fur)
- Nuts (peanuts and tree nuts), eggs, dairy products (milk and milk-based)
- Detergents and cleaners, Smoke (cigarette, vaping, etc.), perfumes
How to help relieve your toddler’s allergy symptoms
Avoidance is the first step to treating allergies in toddlers. Pollen and environmental allergens might seem difficult to avoid, but there are steps you can take to reduce your child’s exposure.
Look for scent-free and gentle cleansing options cleansers for your toddler’s baths. A bath before bed each night helps to remove any allergens from the day and keeps them off of your child’s bedding and pillows. Perfumes and dyes can be irritants for little ones’ skin and are not necessary.
Use gentle cleansers and detergents when laundering clothes. If your toddler has frequent rashes or eczema spots, go for a free & clear detergent in the laundry, and add an extra rinse to your wash cycle. We recommend drying clothes in a dryer or inside. Wind can blow pollen and other allergens on clothes that dry on an outside clothesline.
If your child is allergic to pollen, dress your child in long pants when they are going out to play. This can protect their skin from pollen and other allergens. It’s a good idea to have them change clothing or shower after playing outside.
Vacuum rugs and floors frequently, and avoid using carpet in your house, especially in bedrooms. Also, vacuum your upholstered furniture regularly as well. Cleaning keeps dust mites down as well as any pollen that is tracked indoors. Remember, after vacuuming, it can take 2 hours for the dust to settle back down.
Your car upholstery can also gather pollen and allergens. Reduce your pollen exposure in spring and summer by using the air conditioner in your home and car.
Use allergen-proof covers for your toddler’s mattresses and pillows will help protect against dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens while your child sleeps.
- Change sheets weekly.
- Blankets and comforters should be washed 1-2 times each month.
- Mattress covers/protectors should be washed at least once a month.
- Pillow covers should be washed with sheets weekly. Pillows themselves should be replaced every 2-3 years.
Children who suffer from allergies early in life may go on to develop asthma. Asthma is an inflammation of the airways that can be triggered by allergens. Treating children for their allergies can help prevent further suffering later in life, allergy shots may stop the development of future allergies and the onset of asthma.
Call to schedule an appointment today with Family Asthma & Allergy’s team of specialists to help you better understand what it is that your toddler is allergic to and to create a treatment plan for your child. Once you’ve scheduled allergy testing for your child, take a look at our resource about what to expect for the day of testing.