Did you know that approximately 40% of children in the UK are diagnosed with an allergy? Childhood allergies are common, but that doesn’t make them any less distressing for those affected by them.
The symptoms of allergies can have a significant impact on quality of life. They can cause anxiety, damage self-esteem, and contribute to a negative relationship with food. While there are a lot of different childhood allergies, some tend to be much more common than others.
Here, we will look at four common childhood allergies.
1. Food allergies
Food allergies are the most common type of childhood allergy. Approximately 1 in 12 children are diagnosed with a food allergy, with the most common including:
- Cow’s milk
- Peanuts and tree nuts
These types of allergies generally develop due to confusion in the immune system. Rather than ignoring harmless proteins in foods, instead, the body triggers a reaction that causes histamine to be released. This in turn causes common symptoms such as hives, swelling, a runny nose or vomiting. However, in severe cases, the reaction can include dizziness and difficulty breathing – when you should seek urgent medical attention.
While food allergies can develop due to a range of factors, it is a good idea to keep a symptoms diary so that you can identify and avoid the cause.
Approximately 1.1 million children suffer from asthma in the UK. Commonly triggered by pollen, dust mites, environmental irritants, and pets, it leads to a range of breathing issues. Common symptoms include wheezing, coughing, and tightness within the chest. In severe cases, children can experience an asthma attack, making it difficult to breathe.
Children who suffer from asthma often have hay fever too. If hay fever symptoms develop, this can in turn trigger the symptoms of asthma. Therefore, it is important to keep hay fever under control in order to reduce the risk of an asthma attack.
Also referred to as atopic dermatitis, eczema is an extremely common skin condition thought to affect 1 in 5 babies in the UK. In most children, the condition does clear up as they get older. However, in severe cases, it can persist well into adulthood.
Symptoms of the condition include dry, itchy, and flaky skin. While there isn’t a cure for Eczema, there are treatments available that can help to clear up the condition.
4. Hay Fever
Around 10-15% of children in the UK are diagnosed with hay fever. Occurring during specific times of the year, the condition is also known as seasonal rhinitis. It is typically triggered by pollen and weeds during the spring and summer months. Common symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.
Treating childhood allergies
While there is no cure for childhood allergies, there are effective ways you can manage them, once you know what you are dealing with. We can offer diagnostic testing and can quickly organise treatment for a wide range of common childhood health conditions. To receive the best treatment, the type of allergy and its severity will be considered.
At the Mayfair GP, we understand that your child’s health is one of your key priorities, which is why we offer a comprehensive paediatric service. We provide appointments at a time that is convenient for you. To start managing your child’s allergy and improving their quality of life, book an appointment today.