Monday, March 18, 2013

Prevention and Control: Allergies in Infants and Children

"Allergies are best treated by prevention."
Taking Preventive Steps

Prevention is KEY to your child's health and wellness and it is important to begin early in an infant's life. Here are some recommendations and tips to help keeping your baby healthy and allergy free!   
  • Breast-feed your infant if you come from an allergic family.
  •  Eliminate cow's milk completely if possible for several years, because it's more likely for a child's body to spark the onset of another food sensitivity and/or allergy. If you find it's difficult to eliminate it completely from your baby's diet, then postpone the introduction to at least 1.5 years. 
  • If your child is drinking cow's milk and they show signs of a: congested nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and full-blown eczema; then take them off the milk completely. It can take up to 1 to 2 weeks for the symptoms to clear. 
  • Pure mild soaps should be used for both bathing and washing clothes. Traces of detergents stay in clothes and can produce skin rashes in sensitive infants. 
  • Some baby oils, powders, and lotions ingredients can cause a skin rash. If that happens, corn starch and mineral oil are great substitutes. 
  • When you begin introducing solid foods, ONLY add one at a time. Wait at least 10 days before adding another. 
  • Do not feed your baby mixed cereals or foods, such as fruit mixed with tapioca. This is when you can get into trouble! 
  • Read food labels. Buy food with the purest, rawest ingredients.
  • It is ALWAYS the better and healthier option to prepare your baby's food. Go here to learn how easy it is to make your baby's food! 
  • Avoid feeding your baby eggs and wheat for at least 1 year. These are food sensitizers. 

Learning to Control Allergies

Once an allergic symptom is present, it is harder to get rid of. At this point, eliminating not only the immediate cause but also the milder offenders. If a parent is willing and able the child may be able to tolerate the more potent stimulus from time to time. Here are tips and recommendations below to control your child's allergies.
  • If you sense or observe your child is allergic to a food, eliminate it completely. If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor.  
  • Eliminate common allergens-dust, molds, grease, pollens, animal hair or fur, toys or animals stuffed with kapok or feathers, feather pillows, wool blankets, and hair mattresses-from the baby's bed. 
  • If respiratory infections last longer than a week in an infant or cause wheezing or unusual congestion, contact your doctor whether allergies could be compounding them.
  • If your child is wheezing and you think they have asthma, treat their room by cleaning and getting rid of objects that contain anything but synthetic materials and foam rubber, and find a medication that reduces symptoms.
  • If home medication don't work, ask your doctor about adrenalin or aminophylline. It is easier to break the vicious cycle of wheezing if effective treatment is given early. 
  • If home and office medications aren't working, consult an allergist.

"Touchpoints" by T. Berry Brazelton pg. 219-226

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