Possible Causes of Hives in Children
Question for Dr. Leia: Hi, my 3 yr old daughter has been suffering with chronic hives for 11 months. I have tried an elimination diet, changes in soaps, detergents, etc.
My question to you is, how much of the recommended vitamin c and b12, etc. should I give her? Are the listed dosages for adults? Thank you so much for your help. I don’t know what else to do for her.
Dr. Leia’s Answer: It is unfortunate that your child has been suffering for such a long time with this skin disease. Hives, which are a response to an allergic reaction, usually do not last for such a long time as you have mentioned.
Simple hives usually come and go in a matter of days or even hours. What you are are describing are called chronic hives or urticaria which, in themselves, are usually not serious. However, children with this problem could have an underlying disease process, and should have a thorough and complete physical examination and tests to rule out other more serious problems.
Sometimes skin reactions can be triggered by:
- the herpes virus
- other pathogens
- chemical drugs
- medications, especially penicillins, barbituates, sulfonamides, phenytoin, and barbiturates.
It is important to look at your family history and see if the parents or siblings have had any known allergies to different substances which could be inherited by the child.
Environmental allergies to dust, mold, dogs and cats, and other animal pets, pollens and plant inhalants as well as various foods can occur. Even common every day foods such as cow’s milk, dairy, wheat, soy, and corn can trigger allergic responses.
If these substances are present in the daily diet, it could perpetuate the skin problem. You can try to eliminate these common food allergens from the child’s diet to see if this has any effect upon the skin lesions. And don’t forget to search for food additives and preservatives in her food.
For better indoor air quality, you could also buy an air filter for your child’s room and use it at night time. It is important to find the cause of such a long standing problem first before treating the child. Again, examine your child’s diet because the above-mentioned common food allergens are hidden in many packaged foods which your child may be ingesting on a daily basis.
There are children’s vitamins available at health food stores, so I would recommend giving your child a good daily multiple vitamin. As far as supplementing with extra vitamins, it may not be necessary and may easily be overdosed.
I would not give your child high doses of vitamin C since it could cause irritation to the lining of her stomach. Vitamins made for children are the safest to use.
If you want to convert the dosage listed on the vitamin bottles made for adults, take the child’s weight and divide it by an average adult weight of 150 lbs. and give the child the percentage dose including vitamin C for children.
For example, the child weighs 25 pounds which is divided by 150 pounds which equals 1/6 th of the adult dose. It may be impossible to break a capsule or tablet into this dose, so it is best to try giving your child homeopathic medicines instead.
There are many homeopathic practitioners available who would be able to prescribe an individualized homeopathic remedy for your child. Some common homeopathic remedies for skin diseases include Sulphur, Rhus tox, Chamomile, and Pulsitilla.
Please make sure that your doctor tests your child for further underlying problems such as mentioned above. Good luck in your endeavors.
Dr. Leia Melead
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