Sunday, December 19, 2010 10:21
Posted in category Allergies

Many childhood illnesses are falsely attributed to allergies, particularly to certain foods such as dairy products. However, skin rashes are rarely caused by food allergies, although true contact dermatitis may occur if children come into contact with certain plants or chemicals, and allergic reactions can occur in response to insect bites and even sunlight.

Plant allergies
Plant allergies can produce a severe, even life-threatening dermatitis. Children who are allergic to rhus trees, for example, may develop significant swelling of the face, mouth, eyelids and throat. Grevillea, chrysanthemums, daisies, oleander and primula can all produce an allergic reaction. This may occur as a rash on the face or arms, or as a blistering eruption. These decorative, rapidly growing plants are becoming increasingly popular in school yards, parks and gardens. If a child does become allergic to a plant, he or she must avoid it at all costs as more severe reactions may occur with subsequent contact.

Insect bites
Insect bites in children commonly produce itchy lumps. The first time a child suffers from insect bites an allergic reaction can occur because his or her immune system has not previously been exposed to the insect protein. As children get older, their immune systems become ‘hardened’ and they develop tolerance to insect bites.
Severe, even life-threatening reactions can occur in response to wasp, bee and mosquito bites. These insects may also carry serious infections such as Ross River virus and malaria.


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