A red-haired girl on her bed sneezing
board certified pediatricians

Allergies in Children

Allergies cause an abnormal immune system reaction to a specific substance known as an allergen. When children with allergies come in contact with their allergen, their immune system releases antibodies to attack and destroy the foreign substance.

These antibodies also trigger cells in the area to release histamine and other chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. Anyone can develop an allergy to any substance at any time.

Common allergies in children include:

  • Seasonal allergies — ragweed, pollen, grass, mold
  • Environmental allergies — dust, chemicals, detergent, soap
  • Food allergies — soy, milk, eggs, wheat, nuts, peanuts, seafood, shellfish
  • Insect allergies — bee stings, cockroaches
  • Drug allergies

If you suspect your child has allergies, the team at the Children's Clinic can provide the initial work-up and management your child needs to alleviate their symptoms.

Allergies affect people of all ages, including children and teens. Anyone can develop an allergy to any substance at any time.

Providing care for families throughout Billings, Montana, and the surrounding areas, the board-certified pediatric team at the Children’s Clinic conducts initial workups for allergies and helps manage symptoms. The team also refers patients to allergists for specialized care when needed.

Allergies Q&A

Call the Children's Clinic for expert management of your child’s allergies, or request an appointment online today.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

Allergy symptoms may affect the skin, respiratory system, or digestive system.

Common allergy symptoms in children include:

  • Sneezing, coughing, runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Symptoms usually occur within a few minutes after exposure to the allergen but can develop within a few hours.

In some children, allergy symptoms may be life-threatening and cause symptoms like shortness of breath, low blood pressure, or loss of consciousness. This type of reaction is known as anaphylaxis and requires immediate emergency care.

Children with asthma may be at a greater risk of developing allergies, and their allergies may worsen their asthma symptoms.

How are allergies diagnosed?

The Children's Clinic team conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you bring your child in with concerns about allergies. The board-certified pediatricians review your child's symptoms, medical history, and family history.

To determine the allergen causing your child’s symptoms, the team refers you to a pediatric allergist in Billings for allergy testing.

How are allergies treated?

The Children's Clinic team develops an individualized treatment plan for your child’s allergies based on the substance they’re allergic to and the severity of their symptoms.

Treatment may include:

  • Avoidance of the allergen
  • Lifestyle modifications to limit exposure to allergens
  • Allergy medicine to control symptoms
  • Immunotherapy for long-term symptom relief
  • Epinephrine pen to treat anaphylaxis

The team also refers patients to allergists when needed.