Halloween and Thanksgiving are holidays where pumpkins abound. Children gleefully draw menacing faces to turn them into jack-o-lanterns while adults sit back and enjoy a slice of hot pumpkin pie. Few things say, “it’s fall” like the appearance of pumpkin décor and fragrances. But for some kids, carving a pumpkin or eating a piece of pumpkin pie can be unpleasant – or even dangerous – especially for children who are allergic to pumpkin.
Kids can have an allergy to pumpkin without parents even knowing it – and a pumpkin allergy can strike out of the blue in a child with no prior history of “pumpkin problems”. Children don’t necessarily have to bite into a piece of pumpkin pie or eat a piece of pumpkin bread to develop allergy symptoms. Simply carving a face in a pumpkin can bring on wheezing, sneezing and chest tightness in a child who’s allergic to pumpkin.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS ALLERGIC TO PUMPKIN?
If your child develops wheezing, chest tightness, swelling around the eyes, sneezing, or itching after carving or handling a pumpkin or eating a pumpkin dessert, it may not be a cold but rather, a pumpkin allergy. Many parents aren’t aware of the possibility of a pumpkin allergy, and don’t consider it when their kids develop symptoms after eating or carving a pumpkin.
OTHER UNCOMMON ALLERGIES IN KIDS
At a recent conference of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, researchers discussed not only pumpkin allergies in kids, but another less well-known allergen – to caterpillars. Yes, kids can be allergic to caterpillars. They can develop symptoms from simply touching them, and airborne debris from these slinky creatures can cause chest tightness, wheezing and sneezing in kids who are allergic to them. Kids enjoy raising caterpillars and watching them turn into butterflies, but children who experience allergic symptoms around them should avoid them as much as possible.
ALLERGY TO PUMPKIN AND CATERPILLARS: THE BOTTOM LINE?
Being allergic to pumpkin or caterpillars certainly aren’t the most common types of allergies kids experience, but it’s important for parents to recognize them to protect their kids from more dangerous allergic complications such as anaphylaxis that can come from repeat exposure. Parents should pay close attention to what makes their child cough, sneeze, itch and wheeze. Professional healthcare should be sought if a parent even suspects such a reaction could be related to an allergy.
At Urgent Clinics Medical Care, we have experienced, professional healthcare providers who can treat allergic reactions with steroid injections or prescriptions for steroids depending on the severity of the allergic reaction. Walk in to one of our state-of-the-art clinics in the Houston area and we will provide fast, effective treatment to help you overcome your allergic reaction. We welcome the opportunity to serve you at any Urgent Clinics Medical Care facility in Pearland, Champions, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes.
Medical News Today. “Pumpkin Pie Not a Treat for Some Allergic Children”.