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Hives: An itch you can’t scratch

You’re getting your child ready for the day when, eeeek! You notice raised, red and pink welts all over their skin.

Do you wait it out? Call the pediatrician? Give them medicine? What does the internet say?

Dealing with hives, especially before your morning coffee, can be quite the task. Fortunately, the itchy rash, also known as urticaria, usually resolves on its own in about 8-10 hours. But until then – you have a mission. Find out what caused the hives.

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To pinpoint the trigger, physicians may want to know:
What medications (antibiotics or over-the-counter) are they taking?
Have they recently eaten shellfish, nuts or tried a new food?
Did you get a new pet or recently move into a new home?
Are there known allergies or a family history of allergies?
Is the child stressed or nervous about something?
Are you using perfumes or a new laundry detergent?
Are they dealing with a viral infection?

To help sift through the possible causes, your pediatrician may suggest keeping a journal. In it, you mark down where and when they experienced the hives as well as what they ate. If a trigger can’t be determined, further testing may be required.

Hive relief:
To help reduce the itch, avoid activities or items that expose the skin to increased warmth.
Apply cool a compress to the inflamed area. For additional relief, bathe your little one in lukewarm water.
Avoid tight fitting clothes and synthetic materials. Natural, breathable fibers, like cotton, work best.
It may be hard to do but if it’s a hot day, keep your little one indoors.
Use mild soaps, detergents and lotions. They may smell good, but the chemicals used in perfumed items can irritate the skin.
For additional symptom relief, a doctor may recommend an over-the-counter antihistamine.


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