In most cases of hives among infants, they are usually mild in nature and tends to go away on their own, thus treatment is usually focused on the comfort of the child. Hives or urticaria triggers the manifestation of several mosquito-bite bumps that can swell and itch, usually as a result of exposure to a particular allergen.
Among older children and adults, the treatment often involves an oral dose of antihistamine diphenhydramine but this medication is not recommended for children below one year old. A doctor must be consulted before trying out any form of treatment, especially if the child has a history of eczema or other skin issues. By enrolling in a class on first aid, you can learn how to manage the symptoms as well as provide comfort to the child.
Steps in managing hives among children
- Determine the exact cause of the hives if possible. You have to consider any changes on the diet or routine of the child during the last 24-36 hours. The usual causes of hives among infants include topical irritants, foods, medications, insect bites and being overheated.
- You have to eliminate the possible cause of hives from the environment of the infant. It is important to stop using any topical irritants such as lotions, soaps and fabric softeners especially those that were recently used on the body of the infant or clothing. Mothers who are breastfeeding and just recently added a new food to the diet such as soy, cow’s milk, eggs or peanuts must avoid them from the diet. A doctor must be consulted if the individual has difficulty in determining the cause of the hives or if a medication is responsible.
- Reduce the itchiness and irritation caused by hives by providing relief topically. Apply calamine lotion on the elevated welts or place a cool compress, especially if the welts cover a small part of the body. You can also combine a cup of plain oatmeal and add to a tub of lukewarm water and allow the baby to soak in it for 20-30 minutes. Take note that the special component in oatmeal will promote the healing process by protecting the skin as well as minimizing the swelling and irritation.
- The baby must be clothed in loose clothing until the hives have vanished. This is a slow process that might take several days. This will help cover the bumps without rubbing on them excessively which reduces irritation while preventing the infant from scratching on them.
Considerations to bear in mind
You have to closely monitor for indications of a serious allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock that can develop among babies after the manifestation of hives. The possible symptoms usually develop quickly and include wheezing, severe facial swelling, difficulty breathing as well as nausea, dizziness, vomiting and even fainting.
If you will notice any of these symptoms or the baby has difficulty breathing, you have to call for emergency assistance right away for medical care.