Up to 40% of children in the UK have been diagnosed with an allergy of some sort. 10-15% of children in the UK suffer from hay fever, and around 1 in 12 suffer from a food allergy.
Allergy symptoms in children can be hard for both child and parents, especially when it comes to managing them or avoiding certain allergens. Learn more about managing children’s allergies on our blog, or download our annual allergy guide for families to take control of allergy and hay fever symptoms.
Allergic Reactions: Are allergies dangerous?
Allergic reactions can vary in severity from person to person, and often you may find yourself suffering from only very mild symptoms. This can depend on your sensitivity to certain allergens.
After allergy exposure, some people have milder symptoms, such as itching, sneezing or wheezing, but in some people allergies can trigger shock, which is a severe allergic reaction that requires emergency medical attention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include the swelling of the tongue, throat and lips, difficulty breathing, a wheeze, dizziness and collapse.
If you suspect that you are having an anaphylaxis reaction, you should use your epinephrine /adrenaline pen (also called an autoinjector) if you carry one, then call 999.
Allergic reactions: triggers, treatments and prevention
Some of the most common allergens that can trigger an allergic reaction are:
- from weed, trees and grass (hay fever)
- Pet dander (dead flakes of skin from your pet)
- Pet proteins (for example from your pet’s saliva or urine)
- Latex (for example latex gloves or balloons)
- Certain kinds of food (common examples are nuts, eggs, milk and shellfish)
- Insect bites/stings (for example bee stings)
- Certain drugs or medicines (for example some antibiotics)
Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for allergies, but you can manage your symptoms or take proactive steps to minimise them through prevention. Unfortunately, the best way to minimise allergic reactions is to avoid the allergens that trigger them – but this can be easier said than done!
If you’re suffering from some of the symptoms listed above but aren’t sure what’s causing them, try keeping a diary where you track when and where reactions occur. This may help to give you a better idea of what substances to avoid.
If you’re suffering from the symptoms of an allergic reaction, there are several ways you can treat and manage them, such as:
- Taking antihistamines (for example, Clarityn)
- Using lotions and creams like emollients to relieve itching
- Using decongestants to relieve a blocked nose
- Nasal steroid sprays like Clarinaze Allergy Control Nasal Spray, which provides prescription-strength relief from nasal congestion, sneezing and itchy or runny nose.
You should only use one product to treat nasal symptoms, for example either a or a steroid, and you should not use both at the same time.
Allergic reactions: Antihistamines
Antihistamines are medications that work by blocking the action of the histamines that cause the allergic response. They are readily available in pharmacies and supermarkets, and you don’t need a prescription from your doctor to buy them.
Clarityn Allergy Tablets contain the active ingredient loratadine, a second-generation that is non-drowsy in the majority of users. Clarityn provides 24-hour relief from allergy symptoms caused by over 150 airborne allergens, including pollen, pet dander, mould and dust. For children aged 2+, why not try Clarityn Allergy Syrup, which provides 24-hour relief from allergy symptoms to let kids be kids all day long.