Hives on Babies, Toddlers and Kids
Hives on an adult? Annoying and itchy. Hives on a kid? Freakin' scary! When those red, raised welts appear out of nowhere, it's tempting to panic. But understanding the causes and treatment of hives makes them way less traumatic. What are hives? Hives are yucky-looking red or white raised welts on the skin that most commonly appear on a kid's chest, stomach and back. Sometimes they will also be seen on the arms, legs, hands and feet, but rarely on the face (so if your child has red marks mainly on his face, it's probably not hives).
Hives vary in appearance depending on the person and the instance—they can be small or large, single or clustered, round or irregularly-shaped. Hives often itch (ugh!), but can sometimes be itchless (ahh!). Sometimes hives seem to come and go over a period of hours. So don't freak if they a gone and pop back up later. What causes hives? Hives are caused by illnesses or an allergic reaction within the body and occur when histamine is released under the skin.
If your kid is already sick and has hives, then hives are most likely just one more nasty symptom of the illness. (However, if your kid shows no other sign of illness, the hives are probably caused by something else.) Strep throat and hives often go hand-in-hand.
Allergies to foods, medicines, insect bites and irritants such as detergents and soap can cause hives. Thinking back over the last 24 hours of your kid's exposure should help you pinpoint the hives' cause (if you can think back that far with your mommy-brain, that is!). However, in some cases it's not possible to pinpoint the trigger behind a particular outbreak of hives which can be super stressful. Treating hives Hives typically go away on their own within three to four days. In the meantime, call or visit your pediatrician. Your kid's doc may recommend that you give him an oral antihistamine such as Children's Benadryl to help reduce the itchiness. Cool baths and cold compresses can also be quite soothing. We know you'd try pretty much anything to get your little guy to stop itching and scratching ... and most of all, screaming!