Julia is a lively girl who enjoys playing outdoors. But when it finally gets warm after a long winter, she has to stay in the house, because staying outside becomes unbearable for her. One in four children in Germany is allergic. In recent decades, allergic diseases have become one of the most common health problems in children. Hay fever, allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis are widespread diseases that often occur in infancy and early childhood. For years, doctors and scientists have been researching the reasons for the marked increase in allergies: hereditary factors certainly play a role, but environmental and individual lifestyle influences also seem to be important.
Causes of allergy
The causes of an allergic disease have not been definitively clarified. The likelihood of developing an allergy during life increases dramatically when parents or siblings are allergic. If both parents react to allergic stimuli, the risk of allergies is eight times higher!
Typically, the baby is already suffering from atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin lesion. Only in some cases is a food allergy the reason. As soon as this first eczema slowly subsides, in many cases a second phase of the disease with respiratory allergic symptoms occurs. The complaints can occur at certain times of the year or throughout the year. This depends on which allergens are particularly important as a trigger. In Germany, in addition to bee pollen, especially house dust mites and pets play an important role.
Hay fever in children
Hay fever is now the most common allergic disease in schoolchildren in Germany. About one in four ABC shooters are already plagued with the classic symptoms at the time of enrollment: watery, itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a constant sneezing sensation are among the fatigue and headaches to the unpleasant side effects when the pollen are approaching. Even teenagers are not spared. About one in five suffers from the consequences of hay fever - with rising tendency! For prevention, the early strengthening of the immune system - the control center for pollen defense - is essential.
It is clear for medical professionals: Lack of contact with germs makes them susceptible to allergies. Children who grow up on a farm suffer less frequently from hay fever and asthma. Even a visit to a toddler group makes the defense system run at full speed. Therefore avoid excessive hygiene, germ-free toys and highly disinfected households, as this weakens the immune system.
Tip for all parents: Many siblings reduce the risk of children suffering from hay fever. According to experts, this is because it is usually unhygienic in the full nursery and too much hygiene promotes the occurrence of allergies.
Early diagnosis is important
If your child suffers from the typical symptoms of hay fever during the pollen season, you should immediately consult a pediatrician or allergist. The sooner allergic diseases are treated, the better. Numerous studies confirm that early detection of the disease triggers is very important. Chronic illness due to allergies can often be avoided by early diagnosis.
Knowing the disease triggers, they can often be removed from the food or environment of a child. Also, early treatments by medication or immunization treatment (hyposensitization) may be effective. In any case, it is important that the allergen is found first. For this blood tests are already possible in infants. These tests are as meaningful as skin tests.
Severe discomfort - drug treatment needed
For severe complaints, comprehensive medical treatment is usually essential. It serves to alleviate hay fever symptoms and to treat the inflammatory reaction. Usually, so-called antihistamines in the form of tablets, spray or drops are used.