Seasonal allergies and infants

Avatar for debra1016
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Seasonal allergies and infants
3
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 9:00am

I had the boys to the dr. this week. I thought they had a cold but I was told it's seasonal allergies. They have runny noses (clear), sneezing, watery eyes and they are coughing alot from the post nasal drip. They aren't able to be on medication until 1 yr old. The dr. told me if it gets bad at night and interferes with their sleep that I can give them a little Benadryl but I wouldn't give that to them this young, it scares me. Brandon seems to have worse symptoms. The past two nights I barely slept because he was coughing so much and at times sounded like he was choking. We've had a few times where he throws up all his formula from coughing.


Aside from what my doctor recommends

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2007
Wed, 03-11-2009 - 3:48pm

Debra- You may actually be right that it is a cold. It's pretty rare (but then I also haven't done a Peds residency) for infants to get seasonal allergies. The issue is that allergies happen when the immune system goes haywire in response to some foreign matter (i.e. pollen) that is really benign. The immune response is what makes us feel so bad (runny nose, sneezing, etc). But, the immune system won't mount a response until it's "seen" the allergen before and become sensitized to it. So generally, you assume that infants must go through AT LEAST one allergy season where they become sensitized to an allergen (but don't yet react to it) before they will start to mount the immune response/allergy. So age 1 or 2 is generally when seasonal allergies start to appear. BTW, recent studies have shown that snot color doesn't matter. If the snot is opaque (regardless of the color), it's probably an infection. If it's clear, it could be either infection or allergies. But white, green, yellow... doesn't matter, could be either. Surprising, but there it is. (Yum! All you wanted to know about snot.) Also, sneezing does not necessarily = allergy in babies. Babies sneeze to clear their airways since they don't have the ability to blow their noses or clear their throats like older kids and adults do.

Now. None of that was your question. It's SO hard when they're this age. There really is just not much you can do. I wouldn't give my kid Benadryl at 3 months either. And they're too young for Motrin. Tylenol isn't going to help with the drainage. If they are really fussy, it might be worth a shot to try a dose just because if it IS a cold, they might just feel kinda achy and lousy and the Tylenol would help with that. But if there's no fever and they're acting ok, it's probably not going to do much. The only thing I can think of that you didn't mention is suctioning their noses (always a fun time). Just make sure you don't do it often (more than 2 or 3 times a day) because it can actually irritate their nasal passages and make things worse if done too often. A study was published in January suggesting that VapoRub may actually increase mucus and cause some airway inflammation in infants, so that's out as well.

I am so sorry your guys aren't feeling well. Hopefully it IS just a cold and not a sign of a tough spring ahead. Hang in there, mama.

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Avatar for debra1016
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 03-12-2009 - 8:46am

Thank you Anne. You know, I hate to second guess what the doctor says but I do still think it's a cold. The whole family has been passing around this cold for two weeks now and I have a sinus infection. The babies have an appt tomorrow for shots with the dr. that sees them so I will ask her. I saw a different dr. the other day who has never seen them before. I like the practice I take them to, but I prefer to always see the same dr. and she wasn't there that day.


Thank you for the information on how allergies come about, I didn't know that. I guess I'll just have to wait it out and see if it gets better. I've been keeping the humidifier on at night which has cut down on the coughing. Today I am going to bathe them with the vapor bath so maybe that will help. I will avoid any medications as long as I can. I can tell they seem miserable but until we know what it is, I don't want to give them anything. If it's a cold, we'll just have to let it run it's course.


Either way, I hate having sick babies!


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