Tailor the treatment to the allergy

The treatment will vary depending on the type of allergy.

  • For infants with cow’s milk allergy, the treatment is often an alterative milk formula.
  • For immediate relief of allergy symptoms that come on acutely, antihistamines and adrenaline auto-injectors are potential treatment options.
  • For control of eczema, asthma and hay fever symptoms topical steroids are often used (eczema – ointments & creams, asthma – inhalers, hay fever – nasal sprays)
  • Desensitisation (giving very small amounts of the substance that triggered the reaction and then slowly building up the amount) can be used to treat hay fever and some food allergies.

Some points to remember:

Piriton is an old fashioned anti-histamine that is sedative and only works for a few hours. In a child over one, we recommend a longer acting anti-histamine such as cetirizine or loratidine.

Adrenaline pens can help to alleviate the allergy symptoms, but the effects can be temporary and all child still need to be seen straight away in the nearest A&E Department to ensure that the allergic reaction is settling.

If you child has asthma, it is very important to keep the asthma under control as this reduces the risk of breathing problems with future allergic reactions.

Some food allergies are a long term problem (e.g. peanut and nut allergy, fish allergy). Other allergies are more transient (e.g. cow’s milk, egg, wheat, soya, lentils). If your child tolerates a little of the food, or the food when it is very well cooked, then it is better to let them continue to eat it in that form than avoid it completely. There is now evidence that eating a little of the food that is tolerated will help the child to outgrow their allergy.