Hives are common in children. Most, if not all, kids will experience them at least once in their entire lives. Hives in kids are typically a response to a trigger or allergen, and in most instances, they will disappear within a day. Here is what you need to know about dealing with hives if you have kids.
In Some Cases, Hives Need Immediate Medical Attention
Seeing hives on your kid is distressing, as they can appear as massive welts that could terrify any parent. In some instances, however, you should be extremely worried since hives in some children need medical attention right away.
For instance, a reaction to a food allergy could result in anaphylactic shock, which could be fatal. Warning signs include difficulty in breathing, nausea, fainting, dizziness, abdominal pain, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, hoarse voice, and tightness of the throat. In addition, angioedema, a condition in which the lips, eyes, genitals, feet, and hands swell, could likewise result in breathing difficulties.
Put simply, if your child suddenly develops hives, have difficulty breathing and is wheezing, go straight to your kids’ clinic in Salem for emergency attention.
In Some Cases, You Can Treat Hives Right in Your Home
If your kid’s hives are not accompanied by the symptoms mentioned above, you can try treating it at home. Your primary goal is to help make your child feel comfortable since hives could be immensely itchy.
Hives could disappear on their own and will not pose any risk to your kid. You could give your child an OTC antihistamine (such as Claritin or Benadryl) to ease the itchiness and block histamine, the chemical that triggers hives. Make sure to read and understand the label instructions for proper dosing.
You also need to prevent your kid from scratching and further aggravating the itchiness, as this could result in the hives breaking and increasing the risk of infection. Dress your kid in loose clothing that will cover the hives and let them wear gloves or anything that prevents them from scratching. You could likewise apply a cold pack or a cool washcloth on the hives to alleviate the itchiness.
Additionally, the American Academy Dermatology (AAD) suggests bathing your kid in lukewarm water with some colloidal oatmeal to further reduce itching. After bathing, apply a fragrance-free soothing lotion or cream on the hives while your kid’s skin is still damp from the bath.
Work Closely with Your Pediatrician
If your kid regularly gets hives, schedule a visit with your pediatrician. When you come in for a visit, make sure to inform the pediatrician about your kid’s specific symptoms, known or potential triggers, medications you have given your kid and which ones work best, as well as how often your kid gets hives. You must also consult your pediatrician if your kid’s hives persist for more than 24 hours without improvement, especially if you’ve already tried treating it at home.
Yes, seeing your kid peppered with hives is an alarming sight, but knowing what to do about them will hopefully calm your nerves.