Dealing with Allergies in Pleasanton and San Ramon, CA
Immune systems are incredibly helpful in finding and destroying harmful germs and bacteria; however, sometimes even immune systems go a little haywire, and they might mistake harmless elements as being dangerous, triggering an immune response known as an allergic reaction. Allergies aren’t just for adults; kids experience them, too. Fortunately, the board-certified pediatricians at TRI-Valley Pediatrics can help your child get their allergies under control.
Signs and Symptoms of Allergies
An allergic reaction can show up in a variety of ways. Here’s how to spot them,
- Runny or itchy nose
- Stuffy nose
- Red, watery, or itchy eyes
- Dry skin
- Hives (red itchy welts on the skin)
- Persistent cough
Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening. If your child has trouble breathing, has low blood pressure, or is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, these are signs of anaphylaxis and require immediate medical attention.
What Causes Allergies?
While just about anything can trigger an allergic reaction, our pediatricians most often see allergies to,
- Dust mites
- Insect stings and bites
- Pests (e.g. mice)
- Pet dander
Diagnosing and Treating Allergies
When your child comes into the office, we will perform a comprehensive evaluation and go through their medical history before deciding whether an allergy test is necessary. The most common type of allergy test is a skin test, as this provides us with results in as little as 15 minutes. Once we’ve determined what’s causing your child’s allergies we can create an action plan to best treat it. Here at TRI-Valley Pediatrics, we offer a variety of treatment options for children dealing with allergies. We also offer unique treatment options including allergy drops, so children no longer have to dread uncomfortable allergy shots (for more severe allergy cases). We have also been designated one of the few Asthma Champion practices in Northern California.
Allergies don’t rest, and neither do we. This is why our Pleasanton and San Ramon, CA, practices are open 7 days a week including holidays (for established patients). If your little one is having trouble getting their allergies under control, call TRI-Valley Pediatrics today at our Pleasanton Office, (925) 460-8444 or our San Ramon Office, (925) 380-6230 to schedule an evaluation.
Food Allergies in Children
How do I know if my child has a food allergy?
A food allergy happens when the body reacts against harmless proteins found in foods. The reaction usually happens shortly after a food is eaten. Food allergy reactions can vary from mild to severe.
Because many symptoms and illnesses could be wrongly blamed on "food allergies," it is important for parents to know the usual symptoms. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about food allergies and how to recognize and treat the symptoms. There is also important information about how to keep your child safe and healthy at home and in school if he has a food allergy.
Symptoms of a food allergy
When the body's immune system overreacts to certain foods, the following symptoms may occur:
- Skin problems
- Hives (red spots that look like mosquito bites)
- Itchy skin rashes (eczema, also called atopic dermatitis)
- Breathing problems
- Throat tightness
- Stomach symptoms
- Circulation symptoms
- Pale skin
- Loss of consciousness
If several areas of the body are affected, the reaction may be severe or even life-threatening. This type of allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis and requires immediate medical attention.
Not a food allergy
Food can cause many illnesses that are sometimes confused with food allergies. The following are not food allergies:
- Food poisoning—Can cause diarrhea or vomiting, but is usually caused by bacteria in spoiled food or undercooked food.
- Drug effects—Certain ingredients, such as caffeine in soda or candy, can make your child shaky or restless.
- Skin irritation—Can often be caused by acids found in such foods as orange juice or tomato products.
- Diarrhea—Can occur in small children from too much sugar, such as from fruit juices.
Some food-related illnesses are called intolerance, or a food sensitivity, rather than an allergy because the immune system is not causing the problem. Lactose intolerance is an example of a food intolerance that is often confused with a food allergy. Lactose intolerance is when a person has trouble digesting milk sugar, called lactose, leading to stomachaches, bloating, and loose stools.
Sometimes reactions to the chemicals added to foods, such as dyes or preservatives, are mistaken for a food allergy. However, while some people may be sensitive to certain food additives, it is rare to be allergic to them.
Foods that can cause food allergies
Any food could cause a food allergy, but most food allergies are caused by the following:
- Cow milk
- Nuts from trees (such as walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews)
- Fish (such as tuna, salmon, cod)
- Shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster)
Peanuts, nuts, and seafood are the most common causes of severe reactions. Allergies also occur to other foods such as meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds such as sesame.
The good news is that food allergies are often outgrown during early childhood. It is estimated that 80% to 90% of egg, milk, wheat, and soy allergies go away by age 5 years. Some allergies are more persistent. For example, 1 in 5 young children will outgrow a peanut allergy and fewer will outgrow allergies to nuts or seafood. Your pediatrician or allergist can perform tests to track your child's food allergies and watch to see if they are going away.