Allergy in baby & child
types of allergies
An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction of the body, more specifically of the immune system, to certain environmental substances (allergens), which are actually completely harmless. Basically, an allergy is possible at any age. An allergy to children and babies has nothing to do with an infection caused by bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms.
The more often the child comes into contact with the allergenic allergen, the faster the symptoms may develop. Even the smallest amounts of allergen then suffice for a renewed allergy outbreak in the child. Doctors call this process "sensitization".
An allergy can affect various organs and tissues. In children, for example, it manifests itself as a rash ("hives", urticaria), hay fever or in the form of asthmatic complaints. In childhood, indoor allergies are relatively common, while adolescents often develop pollen allergy. In severe cases, anaphylactic shock can occur - there is a risk of acute respiratory distress and cardiovascular failure. This reaction is very rare.
types of allergies
Depending on the mechanism of the allergy, four different subgroups are distinguished (types I to IV). Another criterion is the time that elapses before the onset of the allergic reaction. With the "immediate type" the reaction starts a few seconds after the contact with the allergen, with the "late type" several days can pass.
In a cross-allergy, the child is allergic to several substances (group allergy). The antibodies that the immune system produces against a particular allergen also attack substances that are similar to the allergen. Often a cross allergy occurs first on an airborne allergen (eg tree pollen) and in the next step on a food. The best known cross-allergies are:
- Latex with bananas, walnuts, peaches and apricots
- Birch pollen with apples or kiwi
- Cow's milk with goat's milk
- Cow's milk with beef
- Herb pollen with celery, artichokes, sunflower seeds and paprika
- Grasses with cereals and legumes such as peas, beans, lentils and soybeans