Hives are described as itchy, red-colored welts. The occurrence of heat-related hives is specifically labelled as heat rashes or as cholinergic urticaria. A toddler can end up with these heat hives right after taking a warm bath, staying too long under the sun, wearing tight-fitting clothes or when running a fever. Take note that this hypersensitivity to heat can be initiated by sweat or spicy foods.
In some individuals, exposure to certain substances can trigger the manifestation of the rashes. The trigger tends to vary from one child to another.
What are the possible causes?
The exact cause of heat hives is still unknown even today. Various studies indicate that it can be a form of an autoimmune response to sweat or a blood condition with an allergy component. On the other hand, heat hives are known to include the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Take note that this breakdown is instigated by acetylcholine and also triggers the release of histamine which is the chemical responsible for the manifestation of heat hives on the skin in most toddlers.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Heat hives begin with itchiness or stinging sensation in the face, back, limbs or chest before spreading throughout the body. If the body temperature of the toddler is not lowered right away, the itchiness can worsen and produce a burning sensation on the skin. After some time, the skin turns red and forms inflamed spots when the affected area is scratched by the toddler. Eventually, the capability of the toddler to sweat and cool down is drastically reduced.
The initial drug of choice for heat hives includes antihistamines such as diphenhydramine. On the other hand, a doctor should be consulted before providing the medication. If in doubt regarding a particular medication, do not provide one until a doctor can be consulted. Depending on the findings of the doctor, the right medication can be given.
Always remember that prevention is a better approach which involves reducing the exposure to known triggers of heat hives including tight clothing, direct sunlight, hot food and hot baths. In rare cases, heat hives can progress to an anaphylactic shock which is a severe reaction that involves severe swelling. In case the child experiences difficulty breathing, it is vital to seek immediate medical care by calling for emergency assistance or bring the individual to the nearest emergency department for proper treatment.
Changes in sensitivity
The toddler might have varying sensitivities to the triggers of heat hives at different times. Take note that this variation might be seasonal or occur in longer cycles. In some circumstances, sensitivity to heat can go on continuously for a few years before resolving or even appear and vanish over several years.