Room 102/104 Green Newsletter
This Month’s Theme: This month’s theme will be “Wonderful Weather!”. The children will look and listen to books about the weather and get to feel sunshine and watch clouds while spending time outside! We will explore different sounds like thunder claps and rain drops, and also get to observe squash plants growing inside the classroom. They will use sponges to paint white clouds on blue paper and explore the differences between light and dark with our light table.
Lesson Plan: Please see reverse side for this month’s curriculum.
Special Announcements: Monday, April 11th through Friday, April 15th, is the Week of the Young Child. We will have an Infant & Toddler Breakfast on Friday, April 15th to celebrate! This will take place from 7:30-9am and we will provide breakfast to enjoy in your child’s classroom.
Temporary Goodbye & Congratulations: As everyone knows by now, Erin is expecting a baby girl towards the end of this month! Although we will miss her while she is on her maternity leave, we couldn’t be more excited for our friend and wonderful new mom! Please help us all in congratulating her before she leaves!
Tidbit of the Month
Allergies in Babies
What is an allergy for a baby?
“An allergy is a sensitivity to something in the environment,” says Mark Moss, MD, pediatric allergist at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. It’s essentially an overreaction of the immune system. For some reason, the immune system sees a harmless substance as harmful and goes into overdrive. When baby’s body is exposed to the allergen (the trigger substance), it produces an antibody called IgE. IgE then affects the organ systems, causing symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes and sneezing (if it’s an airborne allergen) to a belly ache (like with some food allergies).
What are the symptoms of allergies in babies?
Baby’s symptoms will depend on what organ systems are affected. Environmental, airborne allergies, such as mold and pollen allergies, typically affect the respiratory system, so baby might have a runny nose or difficulty breathing. Food allergies usually affect the gastrointestinal system, so baby could have lip swelling, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea if she’s allergic to a food. And some allergies affect the skin, so she could get a rash or hives after coming into contact with an allergen. In general, watch for any adverse reaction -- and if you see one, note which substance baby’s been exposed to. You’re looking for a pattern, not a onetime occurrence. Allergic reactions can increase in severity over time, so be sure to tell baby’s doctor if there are any noticeable changes. If your child ever develops shortness of breath or difficulty breathing after exposure to an allergen, seek medical help immediately.
Are there any tests for allergies in babies?
“To diagnose an allergy, we have to find the presence of IgE specific to the triggering allergen. That can be done with an allergy skin test, a blood test or an older type of allergy testing called an intradermal skin test,” Moss says. If you suspect your child has an allergy, consult her pediatrician. They’ll want you to describe her reaction to the offending substance (or substances) and also ask about her medical and family history. (A family history of allergies increases the risk of allergies, as does a past history of eczema.) If the initial pediatric evaluation suggests there could be an allergy, your child may be referred to a pediatric allergist for allergy testing. Skin-prick testing is the most common form of allergy testing in young kids; if your child develops hives when a small amount of allergic substance is “pricked” onto her skin, she’s probably allergic to that substance.
How did my baby get allergies?
Some children are more prone to allergies than others. Doctors have noted that babies who have eczema are more likely to develop food allergies and that kids with food allergies are more likely to develop environmental allergies and asthma. Family history plays a role as well. If you or your husband has allergies, your child is more likely to develop allergies. A lot of kids, though, develop allergies for no apparent reason.
What’s the best way to treat allergies in babies?
Avoidance. Avoiding your child’s trigger substances should be the cornerstone of her allergy management plan. So that may mean switching to a hypoallergenic laundry soap or keeping peanuts out of the house -- and instructing grandparents and child care providers to keep them away from your child too. Medications may help ease your child’s allergy symptoms. An antihistamine (such as Benadryl) can control the itching, hives and runny nose that accompany certain environmental allergies. Your child’s doctor may also order daily meds to control allergy symptoms. Immunotherapy, or “allergy shots” that essentially expose your child to small amounts of the allergen in an attempt to desensitize her, can also be helpful. A lot of kids outgrow their allergies, though, so be sure to weigh the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment with your child’s allergist. Children with severe, life-threatening allergies may need to keep an EpiPen, a syringe filled with a dose of epinephrine, with them at all times. If your child has a severe allergy, make sure that all caregivers thoroughly understand the symptoms of anaphylaxis and know how to use the EpiPen if it’s needed.
What can I do to prevent my baby from getting allergies?
It’s not clear whether you can. Doctors used to advise waiting until your child is older (over nine months or one year) to introduce common allergens, such as wheat or peanuts, but there’s no solid evidence that this approach works to prevent allergies. And now, some research actually seems to suggest that introducing small amounts of potentially allergenic food early on in a child’s life can prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor to get the latest information on allergy prevention.
Have a wonderful month!
Lana, Erin, Katie & Madi