- Bug bites or bee stings.
- Foods. Your infant may react to a food they come into contact with or ingest. Watch out for immediate allergic reactions from foods like nuts and eggs.
- Medications. Common medications that can trigger hives include antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Viral infections. A cold, upper respiratory infection or gastrointestinal virus can trigger hives. Infants and children are more likely to get acute hives from viruses than adults.
- Bacterial infections.
- Environmental factors. Cold and hot environments or changes to the environment can trigger hives.
- Other allergens. These include pollen and irritants like chemicals and fragrances.
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Hives may look like bug bites. They can be isolated to one place on your infant’s body or be spread throughout the body. The wheals may be anywhere between half an inch or a few inches in size.
- Common locations of hives are on the face, hands, feet, and genitals, but they can appear anywhere on the body. Hives may disappear in one place and appear on another part of the body just a short time later.
- These may show up as varying sizes of raised bumps or patches on the skin that may be red or pink in colour with white centres, called wheals, swelling of the skin, itching of the skin, stinging, or burning.
- Symptoms beyond the skin include nausea, vomiting, and pain in the abdomen.
Keeping your infant away from anything that may have triggered the rash. As hives in infants are most often caused by a virus, this may not be necessary or possible.
Use a cool compress to relieve discomfort caused by the hives. Chandan Lepa helps to calm the hives as it has cooling properties.
When should I see a doctor?
- Occur with vomiting.
- Are on multiple parts of their body.
- Last for a few days.
- Are accompanied by a fever or other flu-like symptoms. Started after coming into contact with food.
- Reappear frequently.
- Are accompanied by symptoms like breathing difficulty. This is a medical emergency. Seek immediate medical care.
- Are accompanied by wheezing, faintness, or a change in blood pressure. These are signs of anaphylactic shock. Seek immediate medical care.
- Oral antihistamines, like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cetirizine (Zyrtec), are available over the counter to treat hives. These medications calm the histamine release in the body.
- Your doctor can advise you on whether it’s safe to give these medications to your infant, as they’re not approved for use in children under age 2. You may need to administer antihistamine a few times a day for several days to relieve the symptoms of hives.
- Occasionally, steroids may be used if your infant’s hives don’t respond to antihistamines.
- Your child may need more immediate medical treatments if the hives cause serious symptoms like breathing problems, wheezing, or the closing of the throat.
- These symptoms require emergency medical care. They may result in your infant needing higher-level prescription medication or even hospitalisation.