Did you know that allergies can’t be cured?
The best people with allergies can do is to treat and control their symptoms. Speaking of symptoms, it’s sometimes hard for parents to differentiate if their baby or toddler is suffering from nasal allergies or a cold. This is because in both cases, the symptoms are very much alike – runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, cough, and congestion.
So you’ll know for sure whether it’s an allergy, a cold, fussiness or something else, here are the 10 baby allergy symptoms to watch out for.
1. Colds That Don’t Go Away
For the first few days after onset, cold symptoms are the worst. But these should gradually ease up and go away within a couple of weeks.
If it’s been several weeks or even months and your baby’s not showing signs of improvement, it’s more likely you’re dealing with an allergy. Other signs to look for include watery can clear mucus, dry cough, and the absence of a fever.
IMPORTANT: Don’t wait too long before bringing your baby to a doctor, especially if he or she is younger than three months. Get a proper diagnosis so your little one can feel better sooner than later.
2. Nasal Congestion
Infants who have stuffy noses might have a difficult time feeding. Babies also find it hard to sleep when their nose is so congested that they have to breathe through the mouth.
If you observe nasal congestion together with other baby allergy symptoms, you should make an appointment with your baby’s pediatrician. You should also bring your child to his or her doctor as soon as possible if his or her congestion is making nursing or breathing difficult.
3. Allergic Shiners
What are those dark circles under your baby’s eyes? Is he or she not getting enough sleep?
If your child also has congestion, nasal allergies are the likely culprit for those dark circles or allergic shiners. They’re caused by congestion in the sinuses which slightly affects blood flow. When this happens, blood pools under the eyes, showing up as darkness.
For some quick relief, you may apply cold compresses to your child’s eyes. This will help especially if your little one’s under eyes seem swollen or itchy.
One of the most easily recognizable baby allergy symptoms are rashes. Food allergies, indoor allergies, and pet allergies can cause your baby’s skin to break out in hives.
In newborns, rashes are common and will go away by two or three months of age. Allergic rashes in older babies, on the other hand, may be due to eczema or atopic dermatitis.
Rashes can also occur if your baby is frequently exposed to an irritant. This is also known as contact dermatitis and may be caused by many things – your little one’s soap, wool clothing, the family pet, and so on.
5. Tummy Pain
It may be hard to tell if your baby has pain in his or her tummy, especially if your little one’s not speaking yet. One way to guess is if your baby’s more fussy than usual. Belly pain is most common with food allergies, which may be triggered by a specific ingredient in your baby’s formula, soy, nuts, shellfish, wheat, etc.
If formula milk is to blame, consider switching to an organic alternative like Hipp. While breastfeeding is still best for babies, if you want to mix feed or switch your baby to bottle, it’s best to go for a formula without traces of pesticides, GMOs, and other harmful chemicals.
6. Red, Itchy, and Swollen Eyes
Baby allergy symptoms don’t get more confusing than when they’re related to conjunctivitis or pink eye. Allergic conjunctivitis isn’t contagious, while bacterial or viral conjunctivitis can quickly spread by contact.
It is very important that you clear with your doctor whether your baby’s pink eye is allergic or viral/bacterial in nature. The former requires removing the allergen from your home, while the latter (bacterial) requires antibiotics.
According to Parents.com, about 6 percent of babies suffer from full-fledged food allergies. It can even occur in babies as young as two-months old via exposure to breast milk or skin contact.
Diarrhea is a common symptom in babies with food allergies. This is usually accompanied by vomiting and failure to gain weight.
A condition known as allergic colitis can also cause red blood in the diaper. Milk proteins can irritate a baby’s colon, which sometimes leads to small ulcers in its lining. Allergic colitis is also known as CMPA or cow’s milk protein allergy.
8. Swelling of the Face, Legs, or Arms
Some baby allergy symptoms are mild, while others are more severe, requiring emergency measures. Swelling of the face, legs, or arms falls under the latter category.
If you notice sudden swelling in your baby’s face, legs, or arms, call 911. It may progress to more severe reactions, which we will get to in a bit.
9. Breathing Difficulties
Swelling can spread to the throat and lungs, which is extremely dangerous as it may prevent your baby from breathing or swallowing properly.
Do not delay and seek medical help immediately.
Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergy symptom. It is characterized by extreme difficulty in breathing and a sudden drop in blood pressure, which can lead to shock.
Again, this is one of those baby allergy symptoms that warrant an emergency response. Until help arrives, keep your little one’s feet elevated to minimize the risk of shock.
Your baby will be treated on the spot with an epinephrine shot when the paramedics arrive. Epinephrine works by relaxing airway muscles and tightening the blood vessels.
Worried About Baby Allergy Symptoms?
We completely understand. As we’ve said earlier, while some baby allergy symptoms are mild, others need close monitoring and emergency measures.
If you feel your baby is having an allergic reaction to his or her current formula, switching to an organic alternative may be the answer. Feel free to browse our blog for more information on going organic.