Hives are red and sometimes itchy bumps that are very common in children. It can appear and disappear anywhere on the body.
Hives in kids are usually found on legs, arms, back and torso. Children may discover the itching associated with hives intolerable and the facial swelling quite alarming.
Hives in children typically lasts a few hours before fading away, and the maybe new hives can develop as older areas disappear.
Physicians divide hives into acute and chronic. Acute hives are new or periodic cases that are last for less than six weeks whereas, chronic hives are periodic cases that lasts for more than six weeks.
Though many children have a single case of acute hives that goes away within a few days to weeks, some children may have chronic hives, periodic attacks of hives that come over periods of years.
The hives can be small or very large, round or irregularly shaped, single or clustered together and over-lapping.
Hives : Many Possibilites
Almost every parent with a child with hives is concerned that an allergy is triggering their symptoms. Most parents think that a certain food is the cause of the hives in their child; others think that a change in a soap or detergent is the reason.
Parents might be surprised to hear that in a majority of cases, what triggers hives that last for less than 6 weeks (acute) is different than what causes hives that last longer (chronic).
The most common cause of acute hives in children is viral infection and stress is a common cause that acute and chronic hives share. This may include facial swelling that can be worrying for both parent and child.
Causes of Hives in Children
There are many possible causes of hives in children:
- Viral infection: It is the most common cause of hives in children. So if your child is sick and develops hives then it is probably due to the viral infection. If there is no viral or symptom of any illness in your child then the hives probably are not due to illness.
- Foods: It is also one of the common causes of hives in children. Foods such as nuts, shellfish, fish and berries can be the cause of hives sin children. Think about the food that your child has eaten in the past 24 hours.
- Medication. Sometimes medication can cause hives in children. Think about the medication your child has taken in past 24 hour as that can be the cause of hives in your child.
- External irritant: Children come in contact with variety of substances each day that they can be allergic to. Substances such as laundry detergent, shampoo, sunlight, body lotion, fabric oftener, bed sheets and playing outside among grasses and brushes can be the cause of hives in children. Think of anything new that come into contact of your child’s skin in past 24 hours.
Despite of all these possible causes, most of the time a parent or doctor is unable to pinpoint the particular cause of the hives in child. It may be a process of elimination to find the source of an outbreak before it can be properly treated.
The outbreak of hives in your child may be just a one-off attack, but if it persists and comes back again and again, seek medical attention in case there is an underlying problem.