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The initial step in an allergic reaction is coming in contact with the thing you are allergic to. This thing is called an allergen.
Allergens are generally very small particles. They may be certain pollens, molds, and animal dander just to name a few. Since coming in contact with the allergen is the first step in the process, it makes sense that the most effective way to not have allergy symptoms is to not come in contact with the allergen.
How do you figure out what your child is allergic to?
Most of the time, careful observation of when your child has allergic symptoms will clue you in to what could be causing the allergy. By doing some detective work such as keeping a diary of when and where the allergy symptoms occur, you or your doctor may be able to figure out the particular allergens that are bothersome to your child.
Here are six helpful hints:
- Do your child's allergies occur at particular times of the year or all the time?
- Are they worse indoors or outdoors?
- Do you, your neighbors, your relatives, or friends have any pets? Do the symptoms seem to be worse when around the pet or even just when visiting the house of the pet owner?
- If your child seems to have allergy symptoms almost constantly, are they worse at certain times or in certain places?
- Does anyone else in the family have allergies? And what are they allergic to?
- Does anyone smoke in the house? While being "allergic" to smoke is very uncommon, it is very common for those with allergies to be very sensitive to smoke as an irritant which makes allergic symptoms worse.
Finally, if this careful observation of the child does not seem to give an answer of what the allergen is, skin testing may be performed. Coming to the doctor armed with your careful observations will help narrow down what to test for.