Allergies and Asthma

Allergies are far less likely in children if there is no direct family history (i.e. mom, dad or sibling). Early signs of allergy would usually present with allergic eczema, and later signs would include recurrent wheeziness.

Allergy Tests

The most accurate test for babies is a blood test, but babies only produce allergy antibodies (IgE) in sufficient quantity to measure accurately over the age of 1 year.

If after consultation with your doctor, it appears that allergies are likely, a dietary adjustment may be appropriate. The usual advice would be to avoid dairy products and to change to a non-dairy hypo allergenic formula and “allergy blocking medications” can be considered.

Oral or inhaled medication can be useful in helping your baby to “outgrow” their allergy manifestations.

Asthma is sometimes precipitated by a viral infection such as bronchiolitis, but it is the persistence or recurrence of wheezy symptoms that make a diagnosis of asthma possible.

Call your baby’s doctor if your baby has difficulty sleeping because of wheezing, coughing or trouble breathing.

Asthma symptoms

Look out for the following symptoms of a possible asthma episode:

  • rapid breathing
  • persistent coughing
  • wheezing
  • whistling or grunting when exhaling
  • sucking in the muscles around the ribs

These signs would usually indicate an urgent need to seek medical help.

Dr Martin Bailey