Health Information

Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

  • Allergies in Children

    Allergies are problems of the immune system. Most allergic reactions happen when the immune system reacts to a “false alarm.” Normally, the human body defends itself against harmful things, such as viruses or bacteria. But sometimes the defenses violently attack mostly mild things, such as dust, mold, or pollen.

  • Asthma in Children

    Asthma is a long-term (chronic) lung disease that causes your child's airways to become sensitive to certain things (triggers).

  • The Immune System

    Detailed information on the immune system and how it works.

  • X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia

    This is an inherited disease that causes a weakened immune system. It mainly affects males, but the disease is rare.

  • Allergy

    Detailed information on allergy, including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Treatment for a Child's Allergy

    Detailed information on avoidance of allergens and treatment for allergy, including immunotherapy (allergy shots) and medication

  • Anaphylaxis in Children

    Anaphylaxis is a severe and sometimes life-threatening reaction to an allergen. An allergen is something that your child is allergic to. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency. Your child can have a reaction to an allergen as quickly as seconds to as long as an hour after contact.

  • Animals

    Detailed information on animals as allergens

  • Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

    Your child's breathing will become harder and may hurt. You may hear a wheezing or whistling sound, which is typical of asthma.

  • Your Child's Asthma

    How asthma will affect a child throughout his/her lifetime varies, depending on the child.

  • Asthma in Children Index

    Detailed information on asthma, including triggers of an asthma attack, symptoms, diagnosis, management, and treatment

  • Asthma Triggers

    Your child's asthma may be triggered by a number of things: pollen, molds, certain foods, strong odors, or even exercise.

  • Atopic Dermatitis in Children

    Atopic dermatitis is a long-term (chronic) skin condition. It causes itchy skin. It’s a very common condition. It’s more common in babies and children, but also occurs in adults. It usually first appears between ages 3 to 6 months.

  • Your Child's Asthma: Avoiding Triggers

    From bed coverings to air purifiers, from pets to secondhand smoke, here are ideas to keep your child's asthma triggers under control.

  • Cold vs. Allergy: How Do I Know the Difference?

    Detailed information on the differences between the common cold symptoms and symptoms of allergies

  • Contact Dermatitis in Children

    Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction from contact with certain substances.

  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency in Children

    Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is an immunodeficiency problem that causes the child to have a low level of antibodies and a decreased responsiveness to some vaccines. This makes it difficult for the child’s body to fight diseases. The child then becomes sick with infections that keep coming back.

  • Your Child's Allergies: Dust Mites

    Detailed information on dust mite allergens

  • Diagnostic Tests for Allergy in Children

    Detailed information on allergy testing, including blood testing (rast testing) and scratch testing

  • Egg Allergy Diet for Children

    Parents of children with egg sensitivity may not be aware of the variety of food products that contain eggs. That's why it's important to carefully read food labels.

  • Urticaria (Hives) in Children

    Urticaria, or hives, is a problem in which red, itchy, and swollen areas show up on the skin. It usually happens as an allergic reaction from eating certain foods or taking certain medicines.  Though, sometimes the cause may be unknown. Hives can vary in size from one-half inch to several inches in size. Hives can show up all over the body or just on one part of the body.

  • Immune Disorders

    Detailed information on the immune system and immune disorders

  • Home Page - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

    Detailed information on allergy, asthma, and immunology

  • Insect Stings and Allergic Reactions

    For most children, the reaction to a sting is brief, with redness and swelling followed by pain and itching. For others, the allergic reaction to an insect sting can be life-threatening.

  • Your Child's Asthma: How Severe Is It?

    Asthma levels are classified in "steps," because each child may step up or step down to different levels at any time.

  • Milk Allergy Diet for Children

    The words "non-dairy" on a product label mean that it does not contain butter, cream, or milk—but it could still contain other types of milk products.

  • Mold

    Detailed information on mold allergy, including potential sources of mold inside and outside the home

  • Immune Deficiencies

    Detailed information on immune deficiency disorders in children, including Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, Common Variable Immunodeficiency, DiGeorge Syndrome, and X-linked Agammaglobulinemia

  • Online Resources - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

    List of online resources to find additional information on allergy and asthma

  • Peanut Allergy Diet for Children

    Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy can be cross-contaminated with peanuts, because peanuts are frequently used in these types of foods.

  • Poison Ivy Rash in Children

    Poison ivy rash is an allergic reaction to poison ivy. Poison ivy is very common plant in the U.S. It is similar to two other plants called poison oak and poison sumac. The plants cause allergic dermatitis.

  • Pollen and Children

    Detailed information on pollen allergy, also called hay fever, including information on which plants produce the most pollen and allergic rhinitis prevention during pollen season

  • Allergic Rhinitis in Children

    Rhinitis is a reaction that happens in the eyes, nose, and throat when allergens in the air trigger the release of histamine in the body. Histamine causes itching, swelling, and fluid to build up in the fragile linings of nasal passages, sinuses, and eyelids.

  • Symptomatic Conditions of Allergy in Children

    Detailed information on symptomatic conditions of allergy, including asthma, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, rhinitis, and urticaria

  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)

    SCID is a very rare disease that can be deadly. It causes a child to have a very weak immune system. As a result, the child is unable to fight off even mild infections. The disease is also known as the “boy in the bubble” syndrome because living in a normal environment can be fatal to a child who has it. This disease is passed down from parents to child (inherited).

  • Shellfish Allergy Diet for Children

    Detailed information on shellfish allergy, a type of food allergy, including how to read a label for an shellfish-free diet

  • Topic Index - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

    Detailed information on allergy, asthma, and immunology

  • Soy Allergy Diet for Children

    Detailed information on soy allergy, a type of food allergy, including how to read a label for a soy-free diet and other potential sources of soy or soy product

  • Tree Nut Allergy Diet for Children

    Tree nuts include almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Tree nuts are also found in many food products.

  • Types of Allergens

    Detailed information on allergy triggers and symptom control

  • Wheat Allergy Diet for Children

    Detailed information on wheat allergy, a type of food allergy, including how to read a label for a wheat-free diet

  • Your Child's Asthma: Nebulizer Treatments

    Breathing the medication straight into the lungs works better and faster than taking the medication by mouth. Nebulizer treatments take about 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Lactose Intolerance in Children

    Lactose intolerance is when the body can’t easily break down or digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products.

  • Your Child's Asthma: Peak Flow Meters, Oximeters, and Spirometers

    These three types of tools are used to measure how well your child's asthma is under control.

  • Food Allergies in Children

    A food allergy is when your child’s body has a bad immune reaction to a certain food. This is different than a food intolerance which does not affect the immune system. This is true even though some of the same signs may be present.

  • 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

    22q11.2 deletion syndrome is a genetic disorder marked by hypoparathyroidism, certain heart defects, and a cleft lip or palate.

  • Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis

    Langerhans cell histiocytosis most often strikes young children and causes damage to tissues throughout the body.

  • Latex Allergy

    Symptoms of latex allergy include watery or itchy eyes, wheezing, hives, flushing or a skin rash, itching, or swelling.