Winter Allergies in Toddlers - Causes, Symptoms & Preventive Tips
Created by Chayanika Sen Updated on Jan 20, 2021
The likelihood of developing allergies is generally hereditary. This means allergy can be passed down through genes from the parents to their child. If both the parents experience an allergy, the chances of the child developing an allergy increase significantly. An allergy can bring about by anything from pollen to animal dander and from molds to certain foods. The factor that triggers allergic reactions not compulsorily should same as the parents. We can say, the kid inherits the likelihood of having allergies rather than inheriting a particular allergy. In babies, allergies can develop at any time.
So, your babies can develop an allergic reaction to a substance anytime even if he was not allergic to it before. Let us find more details about a kind of allergy that is common among children- winter allergy.
What Is An Allergy?
Allergies are overreactions of the immune system of the child to a foreign substance that he inhaled, touched, eaten or has been injected with. The substance that triggers allergy is called an allergen. An allergen on its own will be a harmless substance. When the immune system of the baby takes the allergen as a dangerous invader, to eliminate its immune system produces a lot of protective proteins called antibodies. Antibodies result in releasing a chemical called histamine from specific cells. This overproduction of histamine causes swelling and inflammation of tissues, thereby, giving rise to symptoms of allergy.
What Is Winter Allergy in Toddlers?
Winter season brings an end to seasonal pollen allergies in children. This is because plants take a break from pollination and therefore there will be no pollen in the atmosphere. However, during this time another allergy can kick in – the winter allergy. During the winter, children tend to spend more time inside. There are several potential allergy triggers inside the house like dust mites, animal dander, indoor mold, etc. that can be an allergen. This paves the way for winter allergy in children.
What Causes Winter Allergy in A Child?
As already mentioned above, the children spend most of their time indoors during winter and hence the home actually plays a part in causing winter allergy (especially with less ventilation) in children. Here are some indoor triggers that cause allergy in children.
- Animal Dander: When the weather is chilly outside, several families with outdoor pets tend to bring them into the house. Even though pets are like a member of your family, they can turn out to be worst enemies to your child if he is allergic to the protein contained in their dander, saliva, and urine (Fur usually is not a triggering factor)
- Cockroach: Cockroaches can be an allergy trigger because, like dust mites, the saliva, the flaking body parts, and the feces of cockroaches comprise specific proteins or allergens that may cause allergies. Your child develops an allergic reaction when these triggers kick up in the air
- Molds: Molds are fungi that thrive in moist, warm conditions such as basements, storerooms, and bathrooms. When their spore spreads in the air, they can trigger allergy symptoms. Sometimes you may think Christmas tree is the reason for your child's allergy. But actually it is not the tree but the mold that can accumulate on them is most probably giving rise to allergic symptoms
- Dust Mints: A house not necessarily should appear dirty to trigger a dust mite allergy reaction. Dust mites are microscopic bugs that are too small to be seen with the naked eye and usually cannot be get rid of using normal cleaning methods. Dust mite does not bite and it is 75% water. They boom in mattresses and bedding. Their droppings and remnants become airborne, and they can trigger the allergy
- Perfumes & Air Freshener: During winter, usually, windows and doors of your house remain closed. The perfumes, body spray, hairspray, room freshener, cologne, etc which didn’t cause any allergy till now can trigger respiratory allergies in children especially if the house is not properly ventilated
If you use forced air furnace during the winter season to keep the indoor warm, it would circulate the above mentioned airborne allergens inside the house thereby triggering winter allergy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Winter Allergy in Children's?
The main symptoms of winter allergy in infants, toddlers are.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Red and watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Itchiness in eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
How Can I Distinguish Symptoms of Winter Allergy & The Common Cold?
Most of the symptoms pointed above are applicable for the common cold as well. However, you can distinguish winter allergy from the common cold.
Cold, as a rule, doesn't keep going for over 10 days. Allergy can sustain for several weeks or even months. Furthermore, fever and different aches and body pains are usually associated with cold; on the other hand, those signs are generally absent in the case of allergy.
What Should be Winter Allergy Treatment for Infant?
Key to treat the winter allergy is finding out the allergen that triggers allergies in your child. There are several allergy tests that can be conducted to find out the allergens. There are blood tests, skin picking tests etc. Once you find out the allergen avoid the child being exposed to it. The doctor also prescribes safe medicines to alleviate the symptoms that irritate the child. Proper rest and nutritious diet also help the child to get rid of the allergic symptoms fast.
Can I Prevent Winter Allergy From Hitting My Child?
You can’t prevent winter allergy as it is not an external matter. However, if allergies run in your family it is better to take some precautions to bring down the chances of your child getting exposed to possible allergens.
- Keep the pets out of your child’s room
- Once in a week wash the beddings in hot water. This will help to reduce the thriving of dust mints to an extent
- Remove carpets and rugs at least from your child’s room or the room in which your child spend most of his time
- Always clean and try to keep the floor and tiles of rooms especially the bathroom and kitchen dry so that the chances of thriving of molds can be reduced significantly
- Try to bring down humidity inside the house less than 50% with the help of a dehumidifier so that dust mites and molds can’t thrive
- Use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance Filter) that are very efficient in trapping pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and dust mites
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| Nov 05, 2017
my child is constantly suffering from cold n runny nose.... and if it cures... i stop giving milk to her for those 2-3 days... but as soon as i start giving her milk again .The very next morning she develops cough n have runny nose. Please guide what should i do. How can i stop giving her milk