Even infants under the age of one year can suffer from symptoms of allergies. In some cases, allergies and allergy-related illnesses such as asthma in babies and young children subside by the time they reach the late teen years or adulthood.
Types of Allergies in Infants and Toddlers
Infants are more likely to suffer from allergies because their immune and digestive systems are still developing and learning how to cope with triggers from the outside world. For this reason, food allergies are actually more common in babies and younger children than in adults. A family history of allergies also make some infants more prone to allergies.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the most common food allergies in infants, toddlers and young children are to cow’s milk, soya milk, soy products, nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat and fish.
Symptoms of Allergies in Babies
Food allergies can be so severe in some children that smelling or touching food allergens will cause symptoms. Symptoms of food allergies in infants usually involve the digestion, such as vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating and gas. Skin rash symptoms such as eczema and hives may also occur.
Allergies can also cause respiratory symptoms in infants and young children such as asthma when the body reacts to allergens. Symptoms include wheezing, noisy breathing, coughing and difficulty breathing. Asthma triggers include cigarette smoke, pollen, pollution, household chemicals, dust, mold and mildew and animal fur. Asthma symptoms in most children subside partially or fully during the teenage or adult years.
Hay fever symptoms are caused by allergies to pollen from grass, weeds and flower. In babies, hay fever also causes respiratory symptoms such sneezing, a stuffed or runny nose, sinus congestion, itching, watery eyes, swelling of the face, mouth and eyes and noisy breathing.
Skin Rashes on Babies May be Caused by Allergies
Eczema is a type of skin rash that may be a visible sign of an allergy in babies and children. It typically causes dry, red, crusty and flaking patches on the skin. Eczema can occur on its own or begin or worsen by other allergies such as food allergies. Eczema usually occurs on the cheeks, face, around the mouth, behind the ears, neck, arms and legs. Eczema skin allergy can cause itching and discomfort for the baby and the patches of eczema may become inflamed and oozing because of scratching and rubbing.
Contact dermatitis is an allergic skin rash that occurs when the skin touches an allergen such as powdered or wet milk formulas and household chemicals such as clothes washed laundry detergent. Contact dermatitis is more common in developed societies.