Hives in Children: Symptoms, Causes, and Remedies

hives in children

WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW

Hives in children are worrisome for parents as they may cause kids to be itchy, uncomfortable, and fussy. In addition, it’s often hard to figure out why your child has hives. Learn about them, where they may come from, what you can do about them, and when you should worry.

WHAT ARE HIVES?

  • Hives in kids are raised red puffy bumps that can be ½ an inch wide to a couple of inches wide usually in armpits or groin region. Examine your child closely after walks/hikes in wooded areas or after camping.

ARE hives CONTAGIOUS?

  • No. Hives in children are your body’s response to allergic exposure. They are not contagious to others who touch you or are in contact with you.

SYMPTOMS OF HIVES in kids?

  • They can be different shapes & look like mosquito bites
  • They can appear all over the body or just on one part of the body
  • They are usually itchy
  •  They can come & go in different places of the body for a few days to weeks even after the causative agent is no longer in contact with the body
  • You may never be able to identify what caused the hives in kids in the first place

WHAT CAUSES HIVES in children?

They result from a reaction to something that came into contact with the body. Some examples of things that might cause them are:  

  • Certain foods – shellfish & nuts are considered high-risk foods  
  • Viruses & some bacteria  
  • Medications – prescribed or over the counter  
  • Insect bites – especially bee stings  
  • Exposure to plants & pollen  
  • Changes in soaps/detergents or use of scented & colorful bubble bath  

HOME REMEDIES FOR HIVes in toddlers

  • Cool baths or rags & lotions like calamine or aloe vera will help calm the skin by reducing redness & swelling
  • If hives in children result from an external exposure like a plant or soap, wash the skin to reduce contact
  • Oral antihistamines like Benadryl help reduce itching & inflammation (ask your doctor if this is ok for your child & what the appropriate dose would be)
  • If hives in toddlers are localized to one area, you can use OTC 1% Hydrocortisone to reduce the itching & irritation 

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION?

  • If they are accompanied by wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, tongue/mouth swelling – CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY!
  • It’s ok for them to come & go in waves for a few days till the reaction is over in the body. However, if they seem to be getting more prominent each time they appear. They are not entirely disappearing with Benadryl and if it’s been longer than a few days – Call your doctor. 
  • If you notice that they recur with exposures to certain foods or insect bites, please make sure to inform your doctor as this may be an indication of an allergic reaction that will get worse over time.
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