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Symptoms of cold allergy in children and prevention

Do your child's skin appear bumpy or reddish when cold? If so, chances are your child has cold allergies. Allergy itself is an excessive immune system reaction to allergic stimuli, one of which is cold air.

Cold allergies in children is a skin reaction to cold temperatures, whether air or water, which causes redness, swelling, and itching in certain parts of the body. This reaction occurs when cold temperatures trigger the release of substances that play a role in the appearance of allergic symptoms, namely histamine, into the bloodstream. This condition is thought to be related to hereditary factors and viral infections. Nevertheless, the exact cause of the body reacting to cold temperatures is still unknown.

Symptoms of Cold Allergy in Children

Generally cold allergy symptoms begin to appear after the skin is exposed to cold temperatures, whether air, water, or cold objects, such as ice, for two to five minutes. Not only that, cold allergies are also more at risk of appearing in windy and humid air conditions. The following are symptoms of cold allergy in children that can occur:

  • Itching arises on the part of the body exposed to cold air.
  • The hands become swollen when holding cold objects.
  • The skin will turn reddish.
  • Lips and throat become swollen, when eating cold food or drinks.


In rare cases, cold allergy sufferers can experience anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction characterized by fainting, decreased blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, chest palpitations, and shortness of breath.

What increases the risk of cold allergies?

Some risk factors that can cause cold allergies are:

  • Children and adolescents. In many cases, children and adolescents are at higher risk of developing cold allergies. However, this condition can usually improve in a few years.
  • Have certain medical conditions. People who have underlying health conditions: such as hepatitis or cancer are at high risk of having cold allergies.
  • Heredity. If your parent, sibling, grandfather, or grandmother has a history of this disease, you also have a higher risk of having it. However, cold allergies are rarely inherited.

Treatment for Cold Allergies

There is no specific cure for cold allergies. Treatment is more intended to relieve symptoms that appear and prevent symptoms from coming back later. Doctors will generally prescribe antihistamine drugs to patients suffering from cold allergies. The following are medicines that can be used to relieve and prevent the appearance of cold allergy symptoms:


Antihistamines work by preventing histamine in the body from triggering an allergic reaction. Drugs that include antihistamines include chlorpheniramine, loratadine, cetirizine, and desloratadine.

Leukotriene antagonists

Leukotrienes are substances that play a role in the appearance of allergic symptoms and asthma attacks. Leukotriene antagonists are usually used to treat asthma, but can also be given to patients with cold allergies.


This class of medication is generally given to patients with anxiety and depression. But in cases of cold allergy that does not improve with other treatments, antidepressant drugs can also be given to help relieve cold allergy symptoms.


This drug is a suppressor of the immune system that helps reduce allergy symptoms. Corticosteroids are usually given in only a short time.

To treat cold allergy with medications, it needs to be adjusted to the conditions of each child, the severity of symptoms that appear, and medical indications that are in accordance with the results of the doctor's examination.

How to Prevent Cold Allergy in Children

Some things you can do to prevent the appearance of cold allergy symptoms in children are:

  • Stay away from children from substances or cold temperatures. Avoid giving children cold food and drinks to prevent swelling of the airways.
  • Consumption of medication according to the prescription given by the doctor.
  • Use thick clothing and cover the skin of the child's body, before they move in cold weather.
  • If the child wants to swim, try placing the child's hand or foot in the pool and wait a while to see if an allergic reaction appears. If the pool temperature is too cold and an allergic reaction appears, the child is not advised to swim.


The prevention method above aims to help keep children away from cold allergy symptoms, but cannot cure these allergies. Immediately consult a pediatrician if symptoms of cold allergy in children often recur, or if there are severe cold allergy symptoms, such as shortness of breath, fainting, and the child appears restless.



American Academy of Dermatology AAD. Welts on skin due to cold temperature could be hives.

Baby Center. Allergies in Toddlers.

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