Suspicious of that sniffly nose? Curious about that cough? Read on to decode some common allergic cues
Worried there might be more to your child’s persistent cough than a cold? There is a possibility that might be the case. “I’m definitely seeing more kids with allergies these days,” says Dr. Roxanne MacKnight, family doctor in Miramichi, N.B. “But I think we’re just diagnosing them more accurately now.” Among the most common triggers in children are food and environmental factors like pollen, pest, dust and mould. Here’s how to spot the signs and handle allergies if they do appear.
The sign: Mom or dad — or mom and dad — have allergies of their own
What it means Along with eye colour and personality quirks, parents can pass on their predisposition to allergies. In fact, family history is one of the greatest predictors of allergies in children, says Dr. Zave Chad, an allergist and clinical immunologist in Ottawa. “Allergic kids often come from allergic parents. Family doctors who follow the parents are in an excellent position to screen their babies,” he says. The genetic link won’t guarantee a certain allergy is passed along, though similar allergies tend to run in families, says MacKnight.
What to do When anaphylaxis — a serious allergic reaction, most commonly to foods and insect stings — is present in the family history, infants are screened early on for those triggers to help prevent the unwelcome and potentially frightening response.