Hives are harmless skin allergic reactions which might irritate a child a great deal. They appear as raised pale or red colored skin welts. Hives may also appear as mosquito bites that keep changing their shapes and even their locations.
Hives in kids are generally found on arms, legs, back and torso. Children may find the itching associated with hives quite unbearable and will scratch heavily to try and find some level of comfort. Try to teach them that scratching will only make matters much worse.
Causes of Hives in Children
The actual cause that triggers the onset of hives on the skin among children or adults is not very clear. A child maybe allergic to a food substance or a food additive and hence, may get an allergic reaction of hives.
Foods such as eggs, soy, chocolates, and shellfish may cause the skin to be allergic and react with hives-like symptoms. Kids may also be allergic to certain food colorants and food additives. Parents must ensure that their children do not consume preservative laden foods as many children are allergic to them.
Other common factors that trigger the onset of hives in children are: drugs and medications. A child may be allergic to certain drugs and therefore, parents must keep a watch that the drugs that are administered to the child are meant for pediatric uses only.
Be aware that if there is hives rash on the skin of the child, then the medication of the child must be stopped and the child must be rushed to a doctor for further medical investigation.
Extreme weather temperatures are also known to trigger allergic reaction of hives in children. Very cold temperatures or a very hot climate with associated sweat can aggravate the condition of hives.
Very tight fitting clothes and undergarments can also cause hives in the body of a child.
Children may be exposed to unhygienic conditions in their schools and day care. As a result of the presence of pinworms and girdia, they might get hives rash on the skin. Certain bacteria such as Staphylococci and some viruses are also known to trigger allergic reactions of hives on the skins of children.
In adolescents, cholinergic hives is common and can range from a number of reasons, even as result of emotional stress and depression. This is not found in young children.
Some children are also allergic to sunlight. On exposure to irradiation from the sun, they might get severe onset of hives.
Treatment of Hives in Children
Hives is generally harmless and there is no need to panic if your child seems to have befallen an outbreak. They are likely to disappear on their own volition in most of the cases.
If the condition of hives is severe and itchy and the child has scratched the area, then it is advisable to apply Calamine lotions or Milk of magnesia on the affected skin.
The presence of zinc in these lotions greatly alleviates the itching of the skin and provides instant relief.
Children suffering from solar utricaria (where sunlight triggers the onset of hives) can be prevented from getting hives rash by the application of sun screen lotion.
You can also safely administer Benadryl or similar anti-histamine drugs to the child. If you have a medication suitable for treating hay fever with you, you can safely give it to the child. Many parents avoid giving any oral anti-histamine drugs to their children and wait till the next attack affects the child. This must be avoided. Anti-histamine drugs are safe to use and provide much relief to the child. These drugs reduce the intensity of the hives and their number as well.
Dosage of Antihistamines
If the weight of your child is 20 lb or less then it is recommended to administer a total of 10 mg of Benadryl in liquid form in a day. This dosage needs to be divided into four times in a day and not to be administered wholly in a single day.
For baby hives, you will need to be advised by a professional before administering any form of drug.
For older children, above the weights of 25 lbs to 38 lbs, the recommended amount of Benadryl that can be prescribed is 12.5 mgs in a day. The dosage can be divided into chewable tablets and liquids which can effectively control hives rash.
For older children with weights ranging from 38bs to 100 lbs, the dosage may range from 19-50 mgs of Benadryl in a day. However, the entire dosage of Benadryl is to split up into more than four dosages, in chewable forms, liquids and even capsules.
Try Home Remedies
You can also administer home-made remedies to get rid of hives reaction from the skins of the children. You can brew leaves and bark of rosemary leaves or red Alder and serve as tea for the child to sip.
Make the child comfortable and lie down on the bed. Cover the child with comfortable sheets and regulate the temperature of the room. Hives is aggravated if it is too hot or too cold.
The child must be made to wear loose comfortable clothing, preferably cottons that can easily absorb sweat from the body. You can also give a cool shower to the child.
Avoid giving a bath to the child with very hot water. If the climate is cold, then cool showers must be avoided. Wipe the body with a soft towel by simply patting the affected area dry. Vigorous rubbing of the skin must be totally avoided as this might trigger more hives in other parts of the body.
More Serious Cases of Hives
However, despite taking care of your child with the above methods to battle out hives reaction, you must rush to a health care specialist or medical center if the child is facing difficulty while swallowing and breathing.
Sometimes, hives may have caused swelling on the tongue and even the glands near the throat. This might turn out to be life-threatening!
If the hives rash is persistent and forces the child to itch, it is better to refer to the medical health practitioner. Sometimes, the anti-histamine drugs that you might have administered to the child may have been ineffective even after 24 hours. Sometimes, the hives may be persistent for more than a week. In these conditions, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a health specialist.