Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disorders

Pediatric allergies are the most common form of ailment which children suffer. Allergies can be caused by several factors such as food (e.g., peanut butter allergies), dust, cold, pollen etc. Some of the most common childhood allergy includes hay fever (allergic rhinitis). It causes itchy, watery red eyes, runny nose and chronic ear problems. Ear infection due to accumulation of fluid in the ear can lead to poor speech development in children. They also cause ear aches, itching, popping and fullness. Food allergies are also very common affecting almost 6 million children in United States alone. In some special cases an infant can have allergy to their mother’s milk due to the mother’s diet. In such cases, the food to which the baby is allergic to must be eliminated from the mother’s diet. In case a child a severe allergy to peanuts, the school authorities must be informed about it from beforehand. Such children must always carry anti-allergic remedies.

Respiratory disorders are also one of the most prevalent ailments in infancy. It is so common that ¼ of primary care consultation among children relate to respiratory complaints. Bronchiolitis is the inflammation of the very small airways (bronchioles) due to a viral infection. Children under 1 year of age are mostly affected by it. It is caused by Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Chronic lung disease (CLD) is caused by pre-mature birth. It is a complication in pre-mature birth in which the infant is still oxygen depended at 36 post-menstrual weeks. This is a long term disease, in which the child has trouble breathing, chronic productive cough, compromised lung function even after 12 months of birth. Till date, no medication has been developed to completely cure CLD and help the development of lung of such children. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is most prevalent in developing countries than in developed countries. About 151 million children < 5 years fall ill due to CAP in developing countries. The reasons are numerous which include crowding, malnutrition, low effectiveness of immunization, pre-existing HIV infection, low birth weight etc. Tuberculosis in children has been overlooked for decades. The resistance to Mycobacterium tuberculosis determines the outcome of the infection. Children have a lower resistance to the bacteria compared to adults. Thus children and infants below 2 years to age even with low bacterial load. It was specially seen that the Eastern Europe is affected by tuberculosis and CLD more than the Western Europe though the reasons are unknown.

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