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Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children

Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children

by: Dr. Sorabh Goel
Consultant - Neonatology-Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Allergy is a state of increased reactivity to the common substances that do not cause any reactions in nonallergic person. A substance to which person is hyper responsive is known as allergen. Allergen can be any substance (known as antigen) present in environment or food. On exposure to antigen a sensitive person produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) that trigger the illness and so the symptoms. Any organ like skin, lungs, intestine etc could be the target organs for allergic manifestations. Child will develop symptoms according to the organ, which is the target for that particular allergen. If child has skin allergy, on exposure to allergens he will develop rash, wheals on skin and itching. If lungs are involved child may present with asthma. If gut is the target, child may present with pain abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea. Allergic diseases may also manifest as runny nose, stuffy nose or sinusitis if upper airway is the target.

Allergens that may be causing asthma or other respiratory issues :

Common allergens in surroundings are:

  • Indoor Allergens: Animal dander, Dust mites, Cockroaches, molds
  • Seasonal aeroallergens: Pollen (trees, grass, weeds), Seasonoal molds
  • Air pollutant: Tobacco smoke, coal/wood burning smoke, vehicle pollution, dust, Orders/fumes: Perfumes, cleaning agents, hairsprays
  • Occupational exposure: Farm/bran exposure, paint fumes

How and why is an allergy caused?

  • Allergy is caused by the genetic inheritance of hyper responsiveness to the allergens. Allergy/asthma manifest as symptoms only when person is exposed to allergens. Genetic predisposition cannot be changed, so the best way to prevent allergy is to identify and avoid allergens.
  • Parents can identify the triggering allergens for their kids by being vigilant about the circumstances in which child develop symptoms. E.g they may notice child to be symptomatic in particular season, or when in close proximity of pets or after intake of some food like egg, chicken, etc.
  • Second way to find allergens is the various lab tests (blood test or skin prick test). At times even with help of diagnostic tests we may not be able to identify the responsible allergen. Common steps which we can take to avoid allergens are: keep soft toys to be minimal, light bed sheets and curtains that can be washed frequently, no carpets on floor, keep pets outside the living rooms, cleaning of coolers and air conditioners before use in any season. So minimize the sources that can cause allergy to keep your kids healthy.

 

 

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