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Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can be caused by triggers as diverse as farm animals, feathers and photocopier toner, to grass pollen and dust. A lot of the same triggers that apply to adults will apply to children so you can find out more under the Understanding Allergies section of our website.

Allergic Rhinitis and Hayfever

Allergic rhinitis occurs when the body reacts to allergens in the atmosphere; in the case of hayfever, this reaction is brought about by pollen. Symptoms include sneezing, a runny or itchy nose, watery and itchy eyes. Using an antihistamine such as Piriton (syrup suitable from 12 months, tablets suitable from 6 years) or Piriteze (syrup and tablets suitable from 6 years) can help to relieve these symptoms. Also ensure that you are prepared with an antihistamine to hand in your bag or car during the hayfever season so that if your child is going to be out and about in the park or garden playing when the pollen count is high you can give them an antihistamine at the first signs of symptoms.

Please speak to your Doctor if they are or you suspect them to be suffering from allergies.

Food allergies

Food allergies can be due to numerous foods, including cow's milk, hen's egg, wheat, soya, peanuts, shellfish and exotic fruits. Food allergies range in severity from mild reactions such as hives, to more serious reactions that require emergency medical attention. If you feel your child has a food allergy, you should consult your doctor as a first port of call. It is essential to identify which food is causing the allergic reaction and to make every effort to avoid that food, especially when eating out. Piriton Allergy Tablets and Piriton Syrup can help to relieve the symptoms of reactions to food and food additives.

Please speak to your Doctor if they are or you suspect them to be suffering from allergies.

Pet allergies

Contrary to popular belief, the hair of animals generally does not cause allergies. Instead, it is the protein found in dander, saliva and urine of the animal that causes reactions. Dander is the scales of dead skin that are constantly being shed by all animals. Dander is similar to dandruff in humans, but much smaller and not usually able to be seen by the naked eye. Symptoms can include coughing and sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy and watering eyes and itchy reddish skin rash.

Here are some tips if you or your child suffers from a pet allergy.

  1. Dogs and cats should be bathed at least once a month in plain water. Remember to dry them properly afterwards. It has been proved that a monthly 'cat wash' lowers the level of allergens in the house.
  2. Fish or turtles may be a proven option to a cat or dog but then you may be allergic to the food they eat.
  3. Rabbits and guinea pigs do not produce so much hair but their urine may cause allergies.
  4. Keep animals out of bedrooms and public rooms. It would be preferable to keep them outside of the house but we know that's not always realistic.
  5. Every time you touch a pet, wash your hands thoroughly.
  6. Kids can be persistent so if they continue to want a pet there are some low allergen producing animals you can look into, such as furless cats, which may be more suitable.
  7. If you have a pet currently and you or your child has an allergy to it, unfortunately, there is a possibility that you may have to find another home for your pet. If you are in this situation, you should contact the RSPCA and ask them for advice.

Please speak to your Doctor if they are or you suspect them to be suffering from allergies.

Insect sting allergies

Insect bites and stings can affect the skin by producing localised redness, itching and swelling e.g. hives. When an insect bites, it releases a form of saliva that can lead to symptoms, such as inflammation, blisters and irritation. Stings by insects such as wasps and bees may cause anything from a mild localised skin reaction to life-threatening anaphylaxis in some people - a condition that requires emergency medical attention. Piriton Syrup and Allergy tablets help to relieve the symptoms of insect bites including itching, redness, tenderness and irritation.

Please speak to your Doctor if they are or you suspect them to be suffering from allergies.

Heat Rash/Prickly Heat

Going away on holidays with children requires a lot of planning and preparation! If you are going to a hot destination the last thing that you want are kids with a case of prickly heat irritating and stopping them enjoying their holiday.

Prickly heat occurs when the outer layer of the skin tends to become swollen and this stops the sweat glands from emptying properly. The result is that sweat gets trapped just underneath the skin, causing the typical itchy, prickly rash.

Prevention is better than cure:

  1. Wear light cotton clothing.
  2. Avoid too much sun.
  3. Practice safe sun - don't get sunburnt
  4. Keep as cool as possible with a fan or air conditioning at night.

If despite this your child still gets prickly heat, then cooling the skin eases the irritation - one way to do this is to get a wet flannel or cotton, soak it in cold water, and leave it on the affected area. Or you can use Piriton Syrup for children over 12 months old or Piriton Allergy Tablets for children over 6 years, for fast relief from the symptoms. If your child regularly suffers from prickly heat then it might be worth packing some in your case!

Please speak to your Doctor if they are or you suspect them to be suffering from allergies.

Chickenpox

Did you know… if your child is 12 months or over and has chickenpox, Piriton Syrup can help by relieving the itchy rash.*

Chickenpox is a really common illness among kids, especially those under the age of 10. It can occur any time during the year, but is most common during March and May. Chickenpox is caused by a virus called 'varicella‐zoster' and is spread quickly and easily by person‐to‐person contact, coughing and sneezing, or by touching infected articles such as clothing and bedding. Someone who has chickenpox is contagious and can spread the infection from 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted over.

Symptoms of chickenpox take between 10 days to 3 weeks to appear, which is quite a long time. The first signs are cold‐like symptoms and a high temperature, followed by the appearance of groups of red spots on the skin, which can become intensely itchy, fluid‐filled blisters. Some children have very few spots, while others may be covered in them. These blisters can appear anywhere on the skin and also in the mouth, which is painful. After about 5 - 6 days, the blisters go crusty and heal over.

The symptoms usually go away without treatment but it can be very hard to stop a child itching and scratching the blisters. An itchy child can be a fretful child: this is when Piriton can be useful, as it contains an antihistamine called chlorphenamine, which can relieve the itch. Piriton Syrup is suitable for children 12 months and over, while children aged 6 years and over can take Piriton Allergy Tablets. Always read the label to make sure the correct dose is given.

Children with chickenpox should be kept away from school or nursery until all spots have crusted over.

People who are at risk from complications of chickenpox and should speak to a doctor include: pregnant women, infants within the first four weeks of life or people who have a weakened immune system. Also speak to a doctor if symptoms get worse.

Other ways to help make a child with chickenpox more comfortable include:

  1. ensuring they consume adequate fluids to avoid dehydration
  2. dressing them appropriately to avoid overheating or shivering
  3. dressing them in smooth, natural fabrics like cotton
  4. keeping their nails short and clean
  5. giving them a children's paracetamol or ibuprofen product may also help to reduce a high temperature: read the label to ensure the correct dose is given

If further advice is needed, speak to a pharmacist or doctor.

*Piriton Syrup may be used by children over the age of 12 months to relieve the itchy rash of chickenpox. Adults can also get chickenpox, so may also find Piriton helpful for relief of the itchy rash, however be aware that adults with chickenpox may experience more serious symptoms that should be treated by a doctor.

Additional information: in someone who has previously had chickenpox, the virus may be re‐activated, causing shingles, which is more prevalent in adults. It is not possible to develop shingles (herpes zoster) from exposure to a person with chickenpox, however it is possible to develop chickenpox as a result of exposure to someone with shingles.

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