How do I treat a sting if my child doesn’t have an allergic reaction?

If there's a stinger, remove it by scraping it out with your fingernail or a credit card. (Pulling it out with your fingers or tweezers could squeeze more of the venom into your baby's body.) Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. You can help relieve any swelling or itching by applying an ice pack, calamine lotion, or a paste made from baking soda and water. If your baby seems very uncomfortable, ask his doctor about giving him the appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give your chil...

What if he’s allergic to the insect?

In rare cases, a child may have a severe allergic reaction to a bite or sting, which could be fatal. If your baby has any of the following symptoms after he's bitten, call an ambulance: •  wheezing or trouble breathing •  vomiting •  hives or a rash on other areas of his body •  sleepiness or confusion, possibly indicating shock •  rapid heartbeat •  swelling of his lips or throat While waiting for medical help, lay your baby down with the stung body part below the level of his heart, if possible. Try to ke...

My baby was bitten or stung by some kind of insect. Should I be concerned?

It's common for children to get bitten and stung by insects, and usually the reaction is a mild one. Mosquitos, biting flies, ticks, and some spiders often cause only itching or minimal stinging and slight swelling. Stings from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants can be painful, but they're usually not serious. Your baby's reaction will depend on how sensitive he is to the particular insect.

Can my child be cured of asthma?

There's no cure for asthma, although some asthmatic babies who wheeze only when they have colds or upper respiratory tract infections outgrow the tendency to wheeze over time. In general, asthma is thought to be a lifelong condition, although the frequency and severity of symptoms may change as your baby grows. Close medical follow-up and appropriate treatment will enable your child to manage his asthma as he gets older so he can run, swim, and play like other children. Most children with asthma grow up to ...

What can I do to prevent my child from developing asthma?

There's nothing you can do to fully prevent your child from developing asthma if it's in his genes. And you won't know whether your child will be asthmatic until he shows consistent symptoms, such as wheezing and constant coughing. That said, you may be able to minimize the severity of your child's symptoms or delay the onset of his asthma until he's older (and his lungs are bigger and stronger) if you do the following: Limit his exposure to dust mites: Encase your baby's mattress in an impermeable cover, r...

Preventing an asthma attack

Drugs known as controllers are used to prevent asthma attacks. These include inhaled steroids, which can help reduce inflammation and swelling and prevent your baby from wheezing. You would give your baby daily inhaled steroid medicine using either an MDI or a nebulizer, depending on the steroid prescribed by his doctor. If your baby's asthma proves difficult to control, his doctor may refer him to an asthma specialist. You'll want to make sure that any sitters or daycare providers responsible for your baby...

Stopping an asthma attack

Your doctor will probably prescribe one or more drugs for your baby. Drugs known as quick relievers are used to stop an asthma attack. These fast-acting medications relieve the spasms in the airway, making breathing easier. Quick-reliever drugs such as albuterol are administered using either a nebulizer machine or a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). A nebulizer is an electric or battery-powered machine that turns liquid medicine into a mist that your baby can breathe into his lungs through a mask. Nebulized breat...

How can I tell whether my baby has asthma?

You'll need your doctor's help. Asthma can be difficult to diagnose in children younger than 2, because conditions other than asthma can cause wheezing or wheezing-like sounds. In fact, viral respiratory infections are probably the most common cause of wheezing in babies. However, if your baby coughs frequently and has allergies or eczema, and your family has a history of asthma and allergies or eczema (especially if you and your partner both have them), there's a good chance that your baby has asthma. His ...

What do allergies have to do with asthma?

Exposure to allergens such as dust mites, cockroaches, mold, pollens, or animal dander can trigger or worsen symptoms in some children with asthma. This is referred to as allergic asthma. Seasonal allergies to outdoor pollens (also called hay fever) won't usually be a problem until your child is 4 or 5, because it can take that long for him to be exposed to enough pollens to develop a sensitivity to them. Allergies to dust mites, mold, or animal dander may develop earlier in life, though. About 75 to 80 per...

What happens during an acute asthma attack?

If your baby has an acute asthma attack, the lining of his airways will become even more inflamed and produce more mucus. Then the muscles around his airways will tighten and his breathing tubes will narrow. He may breathe rapidly, cough, or wheeze (make a whistling sound) as his breath is forced through the narrowed airways. You may notice your baby's nostrils flare or the skin around his ribs suck in with each breath. If left untreated or there's a delay in seeking medical attention, an asthma attack can ...

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs and airways — the tubes that bring air into and out of the lungs. If your baby has asthma, these airways are irritated and swollen, and this can affect his ability to breathe. It's important that you work with your baby's healthcare provider to prevent and treat asthma attacks. With the right medications, education, an asthma action plan, and regular medical follow-up, most asthmatic children do just fine.

What should I do if the rash doesn’t get better?

Talk with your baby's doctor or a pediatric dermatologist. If the rash doesn't get better after following the suggestions above, your doctor might suggest trying mild topical steroids, which can be bought over the counter. If the over-the-counter variety doesn't do the trick, your child's doctor may prescribe a stronger steroid. A steroid cream or ointment sometimes works wonders to help break a stubborn cycle of eczema. A short course of oral steroid medication can sometimes help get eczema under enough co...

Could my baby’s eczema be caused by a certain food?

Eczema is not a specific allergy, but in some children, certain allergenic foods can trigger eczema or make it worse. If you or your doctor suspects that your baby's eczema is affected by certain foods, the mostly likely culprits are cow's milk and eggs, followed by soy, wheat, peanuts, and fish. You may want to try eliminating them from your baby's diet, if she's started on solids, and from your own diet if you're breastfeeding. Your baby shouldn't drink cow's milk until her first birthday, but if she's pr...

What can I do to treat my baby’s eczema?

Taking good care of your baby's skin is crucial. Here are some tips: Try to keep your baby's skin from becoming too dry. Talk with her doctor about how often to bathe her. Many experts now believe that daily bathing can be helpful for babies with eczema. Just don't make the water too warm, because very warm water dries out the skin faster than lukewarm water. Use a mild soap, and wash and shampoo your baby at the end of her bath so she isn't sitting in soapy water. As soon as you get your baby out of the tu...

What causes eczema?

No one knows for sure, but we do know that the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. So your baby is more likely to have it if you or a close family member has had eczema, asthma, or allergies. Eczema is not an allergic reaction to a substance, but it can be triggered by allergens in your baby's diet — or in your diet if you're breastfeeding. The rash can also be aggravated by heat, irritants that come in contact with your baby's skin (like wool or the chemicals in some soaps, lotions, and detergents)...

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