Allergen facts for kids
An allergen is a type of antigen that produces an abnormally vigorous immune response in which the immune system fights off a perceived threat that would otherwise be harmless to the body. Such reactions are called allergies.
Dust, pollen and pet dander are all common allergens. It is possible to be allergic to anything from chlorine to perfume. Food allergies are not as common, but some foods, like peanuts, nuts, seafood and shellfish cause serious allergies in lots of people. Sensitivities vary widely from one person (or from one animal) to another.
Seasonal allergy symptoms are commonly experienced during specific parts of the year, usually during spring, summer or fall when certain trees or grasses pollinate. Seasonal allergies are one of the main triggers for asthma. In Canada, for example, up to 75% of asthmatics also have seasonal allergies.
Some common allergens could be:
- Cat allergy
- Fur and dander
- Cockroach calyx
- Dust mite excretion
- Corn or maize
- Eggs - typically albumen, the white
- Bee sting venom
- Wasp sting venom
- Mosquito stings
- Mold spores
Treatment includes over-the-counter medications, antihistamines, nasal decongestants, allergy shots, and alternative medicine.
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Allergen Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.