What is hives?
Hives are reddish, swollen areas of the skin that produce a strong itchy sensation. They can appear on any area of the body and can last from a few hours to a few days.
What are the causes of hives?
The most common cause of urticaria in children is a viral infection, such as a simple cold. In other cases it may be the result of an allergic reaction to something your child has been exposed to (although the cause is difficult to identify). About 10-15% of children have urticaria at one time or another in their development. Here are some of the causes of hives:
• Food or environmental allergens. The most common food allergens are milk, egg, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
Children who have developed an allergy to cats can form hives upon contact with the respective animal.
• Drugs. The child may have an allergy to penicillin and thus may have hives when given penicillin antibiotics, such as amoxicillin.
• Insect stings. If you are allergic to bees or red ants, your child may get hives when it is stung or bitten by the insects.
• The heat. Hives can also occur as a result of overheating.
How is urticaria treated?
When it occurs as a result of a viral infection, your doctor may recommend taking antihistamines to reduce itching and inflammation. You can try cold baths, or cold compresses. Occasionally, doctors may prescribe the use of steroids (which have anti-inflammatory effect) when urticaria does not respond to antihistamines. In the best case you must identify the cause of the urticaria occurrence to remove it.
When is the doctor's intervention necessary?
If the baby has respiratory problems such as cough, difficulty breathing, swollen face and throat, fainting or has diarrhea and vomiting, call a doctor urgently. These may be signs of anaphylactic shock. If your child's history includes severe allergic reactions, you should constantly take an adrenaline injection.
Tags Hives for children