How do allergies affect children's behavior?

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Childhood allergies can affect sleep, eating habits, concentration level and mood. Children with allergies can exhibit behaviors that reveal their struggle with those symptoms.

Irritability and inattention

Congestion, stuffy nose, sneezing, wheezing and breathing difficulty all affect activity levels and ability to sleep well. Children with allergies can be irritable and fatigued.

Children with chronic allergies are also prone to ear infections as a result of excess fluids clogging the Eustachian tubes. Ear infections my cause a child to look inattentive or lethargic.

Eating habits

Children with food allergies are typically picky eaters due to reactions to food such as nuts, dairy, wheat, corn, soy and seafood. Babies can react to food sensitivities with excessive crying, rash or eczema.

Activity levels and mood changes

Children with asthma may avoid exercise or other outdoor activity because of the environmental triggers that cause discomfort. Just being outdoors can cause chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.

Children with indoor allergies may have difficulty waking up, act cranky during the day or tired due to prolonged exposure to allergens while sleeping.

Generally

Hyperactivity, temper tantrums, depression and mood swings can all occur because of food allergies. When negative behaviors start up and there seems to be no source, think about food allergy as a possibility.

Watch what foods they eat and if there is a reaction after consuming them. Look for patterns. Do you have eggs every morning for breakfast? Could that be a trigger? Does eating pizza cause hyperactivity? Think about other sources of wheat, diary and tomato. Does the reaction happen there, too?

Your child's pediatrician is always a good source of information and can refer you to a pediatric allergist if necessary.

Source: eHow, MedicalNewsToday

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