- Everything You Need to Know About Managing Hives in Kids
- Sometimes Hives in Kids Can Be Treated at Home
- Pediatricians Can Help Identify Hives Triggers if They Keep Coming Back
- Is this your child’s symptom?
- When to Call for Hives
- Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
- Care Advice for Hives
- Make Hives Disappear With These Simple Home Remedies
- 8 Natural Home Remedies For Hives
- Help With Hives
- Urticaria (Hives) in Children
- What is hives in children?
- What causes hives in a child?
- Which children are at risk for hives?
- What are the symptoms of hives in a child?
- How is hives diagnosed in a child?
- How is hives treated in a child?
- When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
- Key points about hives in children
- Next steps
- Baby Hives
- What are baby hives?
- What are the symptoms of baby hives?
- More About Your Baby’s Skin
- What causes hives on a baby?
- Remedies for hives
- What should you do about baby hives on the face?
- When should you call the doctor if your baby has hives?
- What are hives?
- What causes hives?
- How should I treat hives?
- When should I call 911?
- When should I call the doctor?
- What is Hives in Infants?
- How Common Is It?
- What are the Causes of Baby Hives?
- What are the Signs of Hives in a Young Child?
- How Does An Allergy Trigger Hives in Infants?
- How is Hives Diagnosed in Babies?
- Does Hives Cause Any Complications in Babies?
- How is Hives Treated?
- Home Remedies for Hives in Babies
- How can you Prevent your Baby from Getting Hives?
Everything You Need to Know About Managing Hives in Kids
Sometimes Hives in Kids Can Be Treated at Home
If that first hive isn’t accompanied by the above symptoms, it’s okay to treat the child at home. The main goal will be to help your child feel less miserable, because hives can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. The hives themselves will usually go away on their own and won’t pose further risk to the child in the absence of those other symptoms.
To help quell the itch and provide some relief, the best defense is an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl or Claritin. That should block or prevent the release of a chemical called histamine that’s largely responsible for the hive itself and the itching that accompanies it. Dosage is based on weight and age, so follow label instructions, Dr. Rossi says.
What to Know About Scratching
You should also prevent your child from scratching the hive. It’s a natural response, Dr. Elmariah says, but scratching can cause hives to break, putting your child at risk of infection. You can dress your child in clothes that cover the hives to prevent scratching. And one of the best itch busters is cold therapy: Place a cool washcloth or cold pack on the hives.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends bathing your child in lukewarm water, limiting the bath to about 10 minutes and adding colloidal oatmeal to the water, which will further relieve itching. (2)
Do, however, avoid bubble baths and scented lotion. After bathing, moisturize your child’s skin with a gentle cream or lotion. You might also want to dress your child in loose-fitting clothes and adjust the temperature in your house, as heat and cold in some cases can aggravate hives.
As you’re doing this, take notes, which will come in handy if your child develops hives again. Write down what time you noticed the hive, what activities your child was doing, and what your child was eating over the previous day, which may help you identify a trigger, Rossi says. You should also note how you treated the hive, how your child responded to that treatment, and how long the hive lasted. If you think you’ve pinpointed a potential trigger, make sure your child isn’t exposed to that trigger again.
Pediatricians Can Help Identify Hives Triggers if They Keep Coming Back
If your child continues to get hives, make an appointment with your pediatrician. He or she will want to know the specifics about what’s been happening with your child, including what medications you’ve tried and how they’ve worked; whether you’ve been able to identify a trigger for the hives; and how often your child is getting hives. (3) You should also call your doctor if any single hive or welt lasts longer than 24 hours without changing.
Depending on what that information reveals, your pediatrician may send you to an allergist to test for a food allergy. Treatment may then include antihistamines, a doctor’s first line of defense. For more involved cases of hives, the doctor may prescribe oral steroids like prednisone or simply treat an underlying illness, Woods says.
Hives can be an alarming condition to see on your child. But rest assured: “Most hives aren’t dangerous and will resolve on their own,” Woods says.
Is this your child’s symptom?
- An itchy rash made up of raised pink bumps
- Most often, rash is very itchy
Symptoms of Hives
- Raised pink bumps with pale centers (welts)
- Hives look like mosquito bites
- Sizes of hives vary from ½ inch (12 mm) to several inches (cm) across
- Shapes and location of hives can be different. They can also change often.
- Itchy rash
Causes of Widespread Hives
- Viral Infection. The most common cause of hives all over the body is viral infections. Research has confirmed this. Other symptoms such as a fever, cough or diarrhea are also present. The hives may last 3 days. This is not an allergy.
- Bacterial Infection. Some bacterial infections can also cause hives. A common example is Strep. Hives are also seen with bladder infections. (UTIs)
- Drug Reaction. An example is a penicillin rash. Most rashes that start while taking an antibiotic are viral rashes. Allergy tests are normal 90% of the time. Only 10% turn out to be a drug allergy.
- Food Reaction. May be an allergy or a coincidence. If the food is a high risk one (such as peanuts), consult an allergist. Hives from foods usually resolve in 6 hours. Hives from infections last for days. Only 3% of hives are due to a food.
- Bee Sting. Widespread hives after a sting may be part of a serious allergic reaction. Need to consult an allergist.
- Anaphylactic Reaction (Very Serious). The sudden onset of hives with trouble breathing or swallowing. This is a severe allergic reaction to an allergic food or drug. Most often begins within 30 minutes of swallowing the substance. Always within 2 hours of exposure.
- Unknown. Over 30% of the time, the cause of hives is not found.
Causes of Localized Hives
- Irritants. Hives just in one spot are usually due to skin contact with an irritant. They are not an allergy.
- Plants. Many plants cause skin reactions. Sap from evergreens can cause local hives.
- Pollen. Playing in the grass can cause hives on exposed skin.
- Pet Saliva. Some people get hives where a dog or cat has licked them.
- Food. Some children get hives if a food is rubbed on the skin. An example could be a fresh fruit. Some babies get hives around their mouth from drooling a new food.
- Insect Bite. Local hives are a reaction to the insect’s saliva. Can be very large without being an allergy.
- Bee Sting. This is a reaction to the bee’s venom. Can be very large without being an allergy.
- Localized hives are not caused by drugs, infections or swallowed foods. These get into the bloodstream and cause widespread hives.
When to Call for Hives
Call 911 Now
- Hives and life-threatening allergic reaction to similar substance in the past and exposure less than 2 hours ago
- Trouble breathing or wheezing
- Hoarse voice or cough start all of a sudden
- Trouble swallowing, drooling or slurred speech start all of a sudden
- You think your child has a life-threatening emergency
Call Doctor or Seek Care Now
- Hives start after eating a high-risk food. High-risk foods include nuts, fish, shellfish, or eggs.
- Hives started after taking a prescription medicine
- Age less than 1 year with hives all over
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent
Call Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Hives started after taking an over-the-counter medicine
- Severe hives (such as eyes swollen shut or very itchy)
- Fever or joint swelling is present
- Stomach pain or vomiting
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Call Doctor During Office Hours
- Hives make it hard to go to school or do other normal activities. Note: taking Benadryl for 24 hours has not helped.
- Food could be the cause
- Had hives 3 or more times in past year with no known cause
- Hives last more than 1 week
- You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
- Hives with no other problems
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Care Advice for Hives
- Hives Only on One Part of the Body – What You Should Know:
- Most are caused by skin contact with an irritant. Examples are plants, pollen, food or pet
- Localized hives are not caused by drugs, infections or swallowed foods. They are also not an allergy.
- Wash the allergic substance off the skin with soap and water.
- If itchy, use a cold pack for 20 minutes. You can also rub the hives with an ice cube for 10 minutes.
- Hives just on one part of the body should go away on their own. They don’t need Benadryl.
- They should go away in a few hours.
- Most are caused by skin contact with an irritant. Examples are plants, pollen, food or pet
- Hives All Over the Body – What You Should Know:
- Over 10% of children get hives 1 or more times.
- Most widespread hives are caused by a viral infection. This is not due to an allergy. Less than 10% are an allergic reaction to a food, drug, or insect bite. Often, the cause is not found.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Benadryl for Hives All Over the Body:
- Give Benadryl 4 times per day for hives all over that itch. No prescription is needed.
- If you only have another allergy medicine at home (but not Benadryl), use that.
- Continue the Benadryl 4 times per day until the hives are gone for 12 hours.
- Caution: Do not use if age is under 1 year. Reason: Benadryl is a sedative. Give your doctor a call for advice.
- Hives Caused by Foods:
- Foods can cause widespread hives.
- Sometimes, the hives are just around the mouth.
- Hives from foods usually last just a short time. They often are gone in less than 6 hours.
- Cool Bath for Itching:
- To help with the itching, give a cool bath. Do this for 10 minutes. Caution: Avoid causing a chill.
- Can also rub very itchy spots with an ice cube for 10 minutes.
- Wash Allergens Off Body:
- Give a bath or shower if caused by pollens or animal contact.
- Change clothes.
- Stay Away from Allergens:
- If you know what is causing the hives, avoid this substance. An example is certain foods.
- Help your child stay away from this allergen in the future.
- Return to School:
- Hives cannot be spread to others.
- Your child can go back to school once feeling better. The hives shouldn’t keep him from normal activities.
- For hives from an infection, can go back after the fever is gone. Your child should feel well enough to join in normal activities.
- What to Expect:
- Hives all over from a viral illness normally come and go.
- They may last for 3 or 4 days. Then, they go away.
- Most children get hives once.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Severe hives not better after 2 doses of Benadryl
- Itch not better after 24 hours on Benadryl
- Hives last more than 1 week
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Last Reviewed: 02/01/2020
Last Revised: 03/14/2019
Copyright 2000-2019 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.
Make Hives Disappear With These Simple Home Remedies
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8 Natural Home Remedies For Hives
- Unless you have hives that are triggered by cold (which is rare), take a cool bath or apply a cold compress. Cold shrinks the blood vessels and blocks further release of histamine. To further relieve itching, add colloidal oatmeal to the bathwater and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. (Be careful getting out of the tub, however, that fine-ground oatmeal turns slippery.)
- Dab the welts with calamine lotion or witch hazel. These astringents help shrink blood vessels, so they don’t leak so much histamine. Alternatives to calamine lotion are milk of magnesia or Pepto-Bismol. Because they are alkaline, they help to relieve the itching.
- In a small cup, add a few drops of water to baking soda and stir until you get a paste. Spread the paste on the hives to help stop irritation and relieve the itching.
- Do you have some cream of tartar in your kitchen cabinet? It might be just what you need to relieve the hives. Make a paste as above and apply.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of any kind of vinegar with 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water and apply the mixture to your hives with a cotton ball or tissue to soothe the itching.
- An old Chinese folk remedy for hives calls for boiling one-quarter cup brown sugar and one tablespoon fresh ginger in three-quarters cup vinegar for several minutes. Mix a little of this with warm water and apply several times per day.
- Herbalists recommend nettle as an alternative to antihistamines. Take up to six 400-milligram capsules a day. Or pick a few handfuls of the weed, steam, and eat. Wear gloves, long pants, and long sleeves to guard against nettle’s stinging leaves.
- Take 1,000 milligrams of fish oil in capsule form three times a day. These capsules contain essential fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties. Cold-water fish like salmon, bluefish, and albacore tuna are good food sources.
Help With Hives
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Hives are pink or red bumps or slightly raised patches of skin. Sometimes, they have a pale center. Hives usually itch, but they also can burn or sting.
Hives can happen anywhere on the body. They can be tiny or as big as a dinner plate. The spots also might look like rings or groups of rings joined together in clusters.
Hives can change locations in a matter of hours. A bunch of hives might be on a person’s face, then go away. Later, more may appear on the person’s arms.
Hives are common and usually harmless. But occasionally they’re a sign of a serious allergic reaction. So, always tell your mom or dad if you get them.
The medical term for hives is urticaria (say: ur-tuh-KAR-ee-uh). When a person is exposed to something that can trigger hives, certain cells in the body release histamine (say: HIS-tuh-meen) and other substances. This causes fluid to leak from the small blood vessels under the skin. When this fluid collects under the skin, it forms the blotches, which we call hives.
Why Do I Get Hives?
People can get hives for lots of different reasons (though sometimes, the cause is not known).
One common reason for getting hives is an allergic reaction. Some common allergic triggers are certain foods (like milk, wheat, eggs, shellfish, berries, and nuts), medicines (such as antibiotics), and insect stings or bites.
Other causes of hives are not related to allergies and these can include:
- exposure to the cold (like diving into a cold pool)
- sun exposure
- nervousness or stress
- infections caused by viruses
No matter what the cause, a case of hives can last for a few minutes, a few hours, or even days.
What Will the Doctor Do?
Doctors usually can diagnose hives just by looking at you and hearing your story about what happened. The doctor can try to help figure out what might be causing your hives, although often the cause will remain a mystery. If you’re getting hives a lot, or your reaction was serious, your doctor might send you to another doctor who specializes in allergies.
Sometimes, doctors will suggest you take a type of medicine called an antihistamine to relieve the itchiness. In many cases, hives clear up on their own without any medication or doctor visits.
Less often, hives can be a sign of a more serious allergic reaction that can affect breathing and other body functions. In these cases, the person needs immediate medical care.
Some people who know they have serious allergies carry a special medicine to use in an emergency. This medicine, called epinephrine, is given by a shot. Usually, a nurse gives you a shot, but because some allergic reactions can happen really fast, many adults and kids carry this emergency shot with them and know how to use it, just in case they ever need it in a hurry.
Can I Prevent Hives?
Yes and no. The answer is “yes” if you know what causes your hive. If you know something causes you trouble, you can try to avoid it. If you get hives when you’re nervous, relaxation breathing exercises may help. But if you don’t know why you get hives, it’s tough to prevent them.
Some kids get hives when they have a virus, such as a bad cold or stomach flu. Other than washing your hands regularly, there’s not much you can do to avoid getting sick occasionally.
The good news is that hives usually aren’t serious and you might even grow out of them. Who wouldn’t want to give hives the heave-ho?
Reviewed by: Joanne Murren-Boezem, MD Date reviewed: June 2018
Urticaria (Hives) in Children
What is hives in children?
Hives (urticaria) is a sudden outbreak of red, itchy, and swollen areas on the skin. This condition often happens as an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medicines. In some cases the cause is not known. Hives can vary in size from one-half inch to several inches in size. Hives can show up all over the body or just on one part of the body.
What causes hives in a child?
Causes of hives in children include food, medicines, and other triggers. Common causes include:
Other types of hives include:
Dermatographism. These hives are caused by scratching the skin, constant stroking of the skin, or wearing tight-fitting clothes that rub the skin.
Cold-induced hives. These hives are caused by exposure to cold air or water.
Exercise-induced urticaria. These allergic hives occur because of physical activity.
Solar hives. These hives are caused by exposure to sunlight or light bulb light.
Chronic hives. These are hives that come back with no known cause.
Which children are at risk for hives?
Anyone can get hives. But children with allergies are at a greater risk.
What are the symptoms of hives in a child?
These are the most common signs of hives in children:
Itchy, pink, or red swollen areas on the skin
Hives can appear alone, in a group, or over a large part of the body
Hives can go away within 24 hours in one spot but may come back in another spot
How is hives diagnosed in a child?
Hives can be diagnosed by your child’s healthcare provider. Your child will first complete a full health history and physical exam.
How is hives treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
The best treatment is for your child to stay away from known triggers. If the hives were caused by a medicine, your child should strictly stay away from that medicine.
Your child’s healthcare provider may also prescribe:
Antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine
Other antihistamines that won’t make your child drowsy, such as cetirizine or loratadine
If your child is having trouble breathing, the healthcare provider might use a shot of epinephrine. This helps decrease the swelling and itching. Your child’s provider may show you how to use an emergency kit that has epinephrine. This can be kept near your child in case of future episodes. Discuss this with your child’s provider.
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
If your child’s symptoms get worse or he or she has new symptoms, talk with your child’s healthcare provider.
Key points about hives in children
Hives is a problem in which red, itchy, and swollen areas show up on the skin.
Causes of hives include food, medicines, and other triggers.
Treatment includes antihistamines and a shot of epinephrine, if breathing is difficult.
Staying away from known triggers of hives is important.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.
Your baby’s skin is smooth and soft, and smells addictively delicious. But it’s also pretty sensitive, so at some point or another, he might get exposed to an irritant that triggers hives.
Baby hives can sometimes look alarming, and they can make your little one uncomfortable. So what should you be doing to help his skin calm down — and keep it protected in the future? Here’s everything you need to know about baby hives, including when you should to call the doctor.
What are baby hives?
Hives are a common skin condition marked by red, raised bumps. They often look like mosquito bites, but they can also be blotchy. And they can form anywhere on your baby’s body: Hives may cluster in one area, but they’re just as likely to occur all over. The bumps sometimes come and go within a few hours, but hives can also linger for weeks or even longer.
A mild case of hives might not bother your baby. But they can cause itching or irritation. And occasionally, they’re accompanied by more serious symptoms that call for medical attention.
What are the symptoms of baby hives?
How do you know the red, mosquito-bite-like bumps on your baby’s skin are hives and not something else? Hives often have a pale center and tend to form in clusters. And their location, shape and size can all change over the course of a few hours, even getting as large as a clock you’d hang on the wall.
Hives aren’t always uncomfortable. But they can itch or sting, as well as cause puffiness, swelling or redness. They can sometimes occur with nausea, vomiting or stomach discomfort too.
It’s also possible (though rare) for a baby with hives to go into anaphylactic shock — a life-threatening condition marked by trouble breathing or even losing consciousness.
More About Your Baby’s Skin
Care Baby Skin Issues and Conditions Care Summer Skin Care for Babies and Toddlers Care Winter Skin Care for Babies and Toddlers Care Baby Skin Issues and Conditions Care Summer Skin Care for Babies and Toddlers Care Winter Skin Care for Babies and Toddlers
What causes hives on a baby?
Hives are one of the body’s responses to an allergic or inflammatory reaction. When mast cells sense something irritating, they release the chemical histamine. That causes blood vessels under the skin to leak, creating those telltale red bumps.
The tricky thing is that there are a lot of irritants that can trigger baby hives. Some of the most common culprits include:
Foods, especially allergens like peanuts, tree nuts, egg whites, milk, shellfish or sesame, as well as fruit
Other allergens, like pollen or pets
Over-the-counter or prescription medications
Bee stings or insect bites
Exposure to the sun or cold
Contact with chemicals
Because they have so many different causes, figuring out the culprit behind your baby’s hives isn’t always easy. (In fact, around half of cases don’t have an identifiable cause.) One clue that can help? Hives tend to form within a few minutes to two hours after exposure to the offending irritant. When your baby gets them, thinking about the substances he’s recently been exposed to could give you an idea of where the hives came from.
For hives that keep showing up, keeping a log of your baby’s symptoms can also help you uncover the cause.
Remedies for hives
A mild case of hives will go away on its own, usually within a few days (and sometimes within a few hours). And if your baby isn’t bothered by them, treatment isn’t needed. For babies over 6 months, an antihistamine may be a good option for helping your little one feel better faster. Just be sure to call the pediatrician first to figure out the right dose based on your baby’s age, weight and height.
If your sweetie is too young for antihistamines or you’d prefer to treat his hives without medications, you’ve still got some good options:
Cool compresses. Soak a washcloth in cool water and apply directly to the hives to soothe itching and discomfort.
A lukewarm oatmeal bath. Sprinkle colloidal oatmeal into your baby’s tub to relieve itching, but keep baths to 10 minutes or less.
Trim your baby’s nails or put on baby mittens. Both can help prevent scratching, which causes hives to get irritated.
Comfortable clothes. Loose cotton duds are less likely to irritate hives than outfits that are tight-fitting or itchy.
Minimal heat or cold exposure. If your child is sensitive to the heat, try to stay out of the sun and use air conditioning. If cold air seems to be an issue, use a humidifier inside and dress him in warm layers when you go out.
What should you do about baby hives on the face?
Hives on your baby’s face might look particularly concerning. As long as they aren’t accompanied by lip or mouth swelling, though, you can treat them just like hives that appear on other parts of his body. But if you do notice any swelling around his mouth or lips, you should call 911 immediately, since that could be a sign of anaphylaxis.
When should you call the doctor if your baby has hives?
Contact your baby’s pediatrician if you suspect that the hives were caused by an insect bite or sting, from eating a certain food, or taking a certain medication. These can be signs that your baby has an allergy, and it’s possible that he could have a worse reaction next time. His doctor can help you figure out next steps to keep him safe, like referring him for allergy testing.
You should also call the doctor if your baby’s hives or itching get worse instead of better or if he develops other symptoms in addition to the hives. And if you gave your baby an antihistamine, get in touch if it doesn’t seem to be working.
Finally, call 911 right away if your baby’s hives are accompanied by serious symptoms like trouble breathing or swallowing, mouth or lip swelling, or nausea or vomiting. These can all be signs of anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening.
Hives are a common baby woe that can leave your little one itchy or uncomfortable. The good news is that they’re easy to manage at home most of the time and they tend to go away fairly quickly. But if you have any concerns — even if the hives seem mild — give your baby’s pediatrician a call. There’s never any harm in getting some extra peace of mind.
What are hives?
Hives, also known as urticaria or welts, are swollen, often itchy areas on the skin. They can show up in different shapes and sizes, but they’re usually well defined, with a pale, raised central area surrounded by a red border.
Hives are common. They typically last for a few hours to a few days, but it’s possible to have them for months at a time. They aren’t contagious, but they may spread on the skin. They may disappear from one area of your child’s skin only to crop up elsewhere.
What causes hives?
Hives occur when the body releases a chemical called histamine. There are so many possible reasons for hives that you may have trouble identifying the culprit. Here are the most common ones:
Insect bites and stings. If your child is allergic to bees or fire ants, for example, he could develop hives in reaction to being stung or bitten.
Food: A child might get hives in reaction to something he eats. The most likely foods are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans), soybeans, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Certain food additives and preservatives can also trigger hives. A child may break out in hives because he’s allergic to the protein in the food or because his body reacts to a chemical in the food by releasing histamine. Some children even develop hives simply from coming into contact with certain foods – for example, when the juice from a strawberry gets on their skin.
Allergens: If your child has an allergy to cats, for example, he may break out in hives when he touches a cat. A child may even develop hives in reaction to an allergen in the air, like pollen.
Illness: A child might get hives when he has a cold or other viral infection. These hives usually last for a week or two before disappearing. Less commonly, he may get hives when he has a bacterial infection.
Temperature: Cold temperatures sometimes cause hives. The same goes for a sudden change in temperature, such as when a child’s skin warms up after being cold.
Drugs: Antibiotics and some other medications might cause a child to break out in hives.
How should I treat hives?
If you think your child has hives because of a pet or pollen allergy, give her a bath to rinse away as much of the allergen as possible. Cool compresses and cool baths sometimes provide relief. You might also try dabbing the hives with calamine lotion on a cotton ball.
Avoid dressing your child in clothing that’s snug in the area where she has hives.
If hives are making your child uncomfortable, ask her doctor whether you can give her the appropriate dose of an oral antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling.
When should I call 911?
Call 911 immediately if your child has hives along with any of the following:
- respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing or shortness of breath
- swelling of the face or tongue
- difficulty swallowing
- dizziness or lightheadedness
Along with hives, these symptoms can signal anaphylactic shock, a potentially fatal allergic reaction. If your child is still a baby, keep in mind that a baby’s respiratory system is so tiny that even a small amount of swelling can make it very difficult for him to breathe.
When should I call the doctor?
Call the doctor if your child is younger than 2 years old and has widespread hives (more than one location).
In addition, call the doctor if a child of any age:
- gets widespread hives after a sting or in reaction to medicine or food
- has hives and seems very ill (has a fever, lethargy, nausea, persistent vomiting or crampy abdominal pain, for example)
- has swollen hands, feet, or joints
Also talk with your child’s doctor if the hives last more than a week. While most hives don’t require special attention, chronic cases may call for skin testing for food or drug sensitivities, blood tests for underlying diseases, or (uncommonly) a skin biopsy.
If you’ve given your child an oral antihistamine (according to your doctor’s advice) and she’s still not comfortable, or if the antihistamine seems to make her too sleepy, call and ask the doctor about other options. Occasionally doctors will prescribe steroids, such as prednisone, to treat hives that don’t respond to antihistamines.
If you see your baby developing a rash on his body, your baby may be suffering from hives. As a parent, it is natural for you to get worried and even panic. There are many reasons that may cause hives in babies and children. Read about hives, its symptoms, causes and what measures of treatment you can adopt to cure this skin condition in your baby.
What is Hives in Infants?
Hives or urticaria is a skin condition that can be characterized by small red bumps on the skin. These bumps can be on a particular part of the body or may even spread across the entire body. Hives may disappear in a few hours or in some cases after a few days. There are many reasons that may cause hives in babies. The following article will help you to know more about hives newborn.
How Common Is It?
Approximately 20 percent people may suffer from hives at some point of time in their lives.
What are the Causes of Baby Hives?
There are many reasons that may cause hives in babies. Some of these reasons are listed below:
- Insect bites or stings may cause hives.
- Allergic reaction to foods like eggs, nuts milk or shellfish, may cause hives.
- Excessive exposure to cold weather or sun.
- Allergic reaction to certain medicines such as Penicillin, Sulphonamide etc.
- Allergy is resulting from pollens of plants.
- Vigorous scratching or excessive sweating of the skin.
- Allergy because of pets in the house.
- Allergy because of certain creams and lotions.
- Hives may even result from infections like a common cold.
What are the Signs of Hives in a Young Child?
If you are wondering whether or not your baby has hives, the following signs and symptoms may help you establish the same:
- Occurrence Of Welts: The most common and easy to spot a sign of hives is the appearance of welts on the skin. The welts are small red bumps on the skin that looks like a mosquito bite. These may be seen at several places in the body.
- Wheals On The Skin: Hives cause pinkish or reddish tinge broad bumps on the surface of the skin that are called wheals. The wheals are mostly seen on the face, neck, back and legs.
- Changing Shapes Of Welts And Wheels: These welts and wheals on the body may keep changing shape.
- Changing Location: Apart from changing shapes and sizes, these welts and wheals may even change the location also. They may appear and disappear randomly.
- Cranky Baby: If your baby is suffering from hives, he may appear to be fussier and crankier than usual. This is because of the itching that may cause extreme discomfort to the baby.
How Does An Allergy Trigger Hives in Infants?
As soon as a baby comes in contact with an allergen, the body reacts immediately by releasing histamine. Histamine is released by the mast cells in the bloodstream, and when it gets accumulated under the skin, it starts leaking from the blood vessels. The released and accumulated fluid forms puddles under the skin that gets transformed into rashes of various shapes and sizes. Histamine flows through the bloodstream, and this is why it may appear and disappear from various parts of the skin. This may continue till the histamine clears up from the bloodstream, this may depend on the severity of allergy and the amount of histamine caused due to it.
How is Hives Diagnosed in Babies?
If you suspect hives in your baby, it is advised that you immediately take your baby to the doctor. Firstly the doctor will examine the physical symptoms of your baby thoroughly. Your doctor may ask you about baby’s health records, any allergies and his lifestyle. If your doctor suspects the presence of pathogens, a blood test for the same may be suggested. In order to reach the final diagnosis, your doctor will assess the physical symptoms and the tests results. After the diagnosis is complete, your doctor will prescribe the best-suited treatment option for your baby.
Does Hives Cause Any Complications in Babies?
In most cases, hives do not cause serious complications and may get better within a few hours or a few days. However, sometimes severe allergic reactions may get caused.
- An allergic reaction after an insect bite or sting.
- If the home remedial measures are not helping in improving the symptoms.
- If your baby develops wheezing.
- If your baby has nausea or vomiting.
- If your baby heart rate is rising
- If you notice swelling on the eyes or eyes along with the hives and your baby has difficulty in breathing properly.
- If your baby’s skin becomes clammy and cold.
- If the skin rash becomes severe and itches more.
- If you notice your baby’s symptoms getting worse.
If any of the above-mentioned symptoms are noticed, it is advised that you take immediate action and get in touch with your doctor. With timely and proper medical intervention any kind of complication can be dealt with.
How is Hives Treated?
In most cases of hives, no medical intervention is required as the symptoms subside of its own. However, your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce the symptoms and also treat the underlying cause that may have caused hives in the first place. Following are the options for the treatment for hives in babies:
- The most common medicine that your doctor may prescribe for your baby is the antihistamine. This medicine helps in reducing the redness, itching and swelling but it does not cure the ailment. This medicine does not make your baby groggy and is extremely safe to be administered to the child. These can be easily procured from any pharmacy, but it is recommended that you consult a paediatrician first.
- In most severe cases of hives, your doctor may recommend the use of steroids. These kinds of medicines are usually avoided due to their probable side effects. However, if your baby does not respond to antihistamine or the symptoms become severe, steroids may be used to reduce the symptoms.
- Your doctor may prescribe anti-viral or anti-biotic medicine to your baby. However, these medicines do not cure hives, but they may help in curing the underlying cause of hives.
Though the above-mentioned remedies help in reducing the symptoms of hives in an effective manner, you may also adopt certain home remedial measures to treat hives in babies.
Home Remedies for Hives in Babies
We shall acquaint you with effective and easy to use home remedial measures that you can utilise to bring down the symptoms of hives in babies and young children. All these remedies have been in use for a long time and may show improvement in reducing your baby’s symptoms too. Some of these remedies are as follows:
1. Cold Compressions :
You may take cold water (not icy cold) and dip any soft cotton or muslin cloth in it and dab at the sight of the rash. Cold compression instantly helps in reducing itching and redness caused due to hives.
2. Cold Water Baths :
You can bath your baby with the cold water. However, it is suggested that do not use very cold water as it may make your baby extremely uncomfortable and give your baby chills. Cold water baths help in washing away the allergens and also reducing the itching. Refrain from using fancy fragrant soap; instead, use any mild baby soap. Gently dry your baby with a soft towel, and you may apply any mild baby cream to soothe your baby’s skin.
3. Make Your Baby Wear Comfortable Clothes :
Dress your baby in loose cotton clothes. Cotton is soft and does not irritate the skin. The breathy loose clothes help in circulation of air making your baby feel comfortable and less cranky.
4. Keep Your Baby’s Nails Trimmed :
The itch from hives can not only make babies extremely uncomfortable, but small babies may scratch the rash and make it worse. Therefore, trimming their nails will keep them off from scratch.
5. You May Use Anti-Itch Ointment :
There are many over-the-counter anti-itch ointments available in the market. You may use any to reduce itching and redness on your baby’s skin. It is recommended that you should use the lotions or creams as per the instruction and refrain from using more than the recommended limits. Calamine lotion also works well in reducing the symptoms. Though the best option is to consult your paediatrician.
How can you Prevent your Baby from Getting Hives?
The following may help you to prevent hives in babies:
1. Protect Your Baby from Infections :
Maintaining and practising good hygiene goes a long way in protecting your baby from harmful infections that may get caused due to pathogens. Help your baby built stronger immunity by feeding him well.
2. Keep Your Baby Neat and Tidy :
Dirt, grime or pollens attached to your baby’s clothes and skin may cause hives too. Change your baby’s clothes and clean him nicely after coming from an outdoor trip.
3. Protection from Allergens :
Keep your baby safe and away from all the possible allergens that you suspect may cause an allergic reaction and thus cause hives.
4. Keep Your Baby in Favourable Weather Conditions :
If the weather is hot and humid, keep your baby in an air-conditioned environment. If it is dry and cold, use humidifiers.
5. Do Not Use Harsh Detergents :
Harsh chemical detergents may sometimes leave residue behind that may cause a rash on your baby’s skin. Use baby safe or milder detergents to wash your baby’s clothes.