Stories about: Allergy and Asthma program

Antibiotic allergies: What you should know

Young boy takes a dose of antibiotics from his mom

It’s Antibiotic Awareness Week, a great time for everyone to learn more about using these medications wisely and safely. Antibiotics are the most common medications prescribed to young children — they are also the most common cause of drug reactions. These reactions can range from a simple rash to more severe conditions that require emergency treatment. The risk of reactions is one of the reasons health care providers are so careful about giving antibiotics only to patients with an infection that will be helped by them, such as a urinary tract infection, skin infection or pneumonia.

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Seasonal allergies: More than itchy eyes and sneezing

Spring has sprung early this year, which means allergy season will likely happen early as well. But for some kids allergies don’t cause itchy eyes and sneezing, they cause something not typically thought of as an allergic reaction: Eczema.

Just like seasonal allergies, also known as “hay fever,” eczema (or atopic dermatitis), occurs when a person with allergies comes in contact with triggers like pollen, dust mites or pet dander. But instead of the nose, lungs and eyes being affected, some people get dry, itchy, scaly skin and rashes on their cheeks, arms and legs. In the early spring, when pollen counts are high, it can be particularly bad for some people. The itching tends to get worse at night leading to many sleepless nights for some families.

“Depending on the severity of the case, eczema can be a real problem for some children and their parents, ” says Karol Timmons, RN, MS, CPNP, an eczema expert and pediatric nurse practitioner at the Division of Immunology at Children’s Hospital Boston. “In many cases the condition gets better as the child gets older, but for some kids it takes years of prevention and treatment to keep it from negatively affecting a child and family.”  

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