oa Professional Nursing Today - The allergic baby - diagnosis and management : paediatrics

Volume 11, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1607-6672



Allergic conditions affect approximately 20% of South African children, mainly in the urban areas. The baby and infant usually present with gastrointestinal symptoms and atopic eczema, with respiratory allergy occurring in the older child and persisting into adulthood (the "allergic march"). The history is of particular importance in diagnosing the allergic condition and identifying the most likely causative allergen. The physical examination may be helpful. Skin prick testing for allergy is widely available, easily done, accurate and cost-effective. Wheezing in the very young child may be due to asthma, but there are many other conditions that must be considered in the differential diagnosis. The management of allergic conditions includes environmental control and pharmacologic therapy.

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