Infant Allergies Often Misdiagnosed

When people speak of infant allergies, they usually are talking about the three main causes of allergies, foods, inhalants and environmental. With an infant, many allergies may show up quickly, especially when they are breast feeding.

Since infants cannot express a feeling of itchiness typically caused by allergies, uncontrollable crying may be the main symptom of suffering from infant allergies. Depending on the age and mobility of the infant, they may also roll and struggle attempting to scratch the offending area. Dry skin may be visible behind the ears and on the scalp and may be thought to be cradle cap. If it appears behind the ears it may look as though the child is not being washed thoroughly, but it will not wash off.

Swelling may also occur in the face or lips and if swelling is seen, the infant's breathing must be monitored as with most infant allergies the throat may also swell and it could lead to anaphylactic shock, leading to possible death. Some infant allergies may manifest as breathing problems or a runny nose and be treated for colds. They may also show sinus problems and develop a cough due to nasal drainage into the throat while sleeping.

Breast Feeding Can Exacerbate Allergic Reactions

Many health professional advise mothers who will breast feed their infant to shy away from foods known for causing allergic reactions such as nuts, corn, wheat and seafood, among others. If the infant allergies are caused by something in mother's milk, the infant may suffer from a bloated stomach, constant gas, throws up often or cries constantly. Many physicians will mistake infant allergies as colic and tell parents to wait for the child to outgrow it, typically about six months. In most cases with infant allergies, eliminating dairy products from the mother's diet will generally ease the symptoms.

If you believe infant allergies are being caused by sources other than food, there are a few things you can try to eliminate the causes. Try using laundry detergent without perfumes or dyes as well as fabric softeners without perfumes as well. Do not spray chemicals in the child's bedroom, such as furniture polish or air fresheners with perfumes and keep the room as free of dust as possible to avoid the possibility of an allergy to dust mites.

Until the cause of your infant allergies are identified, do not allow pets into the child's room and, when possible, change the child's clothing at nap time and bed time and always give the infant their bath at bedtime.