Soothing Baby's Symptoms
If your baby has been suffering from allergies, you'll want to relieve his symptoms and minimize the chances of their recurring by making changes in his environment. Usual treatments for allergies include:
- Skin moisturizers or 1 percent hydrocortisone cream for eczema and other allergic rashes
- Oral antihistamines, like Benadryl, for rapid relief of an older baby's symptoms
There's good news for infants suffering from allergies. The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the prescription antihistamine Zyrtec for the treatment of year-round allergies in infants as young as 6 months old. It's the first and only antihistamine -- over-the-counter or prescription -- demonstrated with clinical trials to be safe in infants this young.
Allergies usually get worse unless exposure to allergens decreases. If you can eliminate baby's exposure to whatever is causing his reaction for at least six months, his body will essentially forget about it. However, it's often difficult to identify what's causing the allergy. You should keep a careful diary of what symptoms occur and when. This may expose a specific pet, article of clothing, food, or room in your house as the culprit that's causing the allergy.
Allergy testing, either by blood or skin test, can be done on children older than 2 months, but test results are harder to interpret in children this young because their immune system is still immature. Try to minimize baby's exposure to some common allergens before resorting to testing by:
- Covering mattresses and pillows with dust mite-proof covers
- Having your cat or dog spend a week out of the house
- Putting away feather pillows
- Switching to a hypoallergenic laundry detergent