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AllergiesAllergiesAllergiesAEnglishAllergyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyImmune systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)Cough;Eye discomfort and redness;Runny nose;Rash;Wheezing2021-03-23T04:00:00Z8.1000000000000060.80000000000001477.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>This page explains what allergies are, types of allergens, the signs and symptoms of allergies, and also the causes. It also gives examples of common allergies and what to do if your child has an allergic reaction. </p><h2>What is an allergy?</h2><p>The immune system protects us by attacking harmful substances such as viruses and bacteria. An allergy is the immune system’s response to a substance called an allergen.</p><p>The allergen is not harmful for most people. However, when a child has an allergy, the immune system treats the allergen as an invader and over-reacts to it. This results in symptoms from mild discomfort to severe distress.</p><p>Allergic disorders, including food allergies, are common in childhood. Many children with allergies also have asthma.<br></p><h2>Types of allergens</h2><h3>Common food allergens</h3><div class="akh-series"><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Common_food_allergens_EQUIP_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="Illustration of eggs, nuts, shellfish, fish and milk" /> </figure> <p>The most common food allergens include:</p><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=809&language=English">peanuts</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=812&language=English">tree nuts</a> such as hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and cashews</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=806&language=English">eggs</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=808&language=English">cow's milk</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=813&language=English">wheat</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=805&language=English">soy</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=807&language=English">fish</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=810&language=English">shellfish</a></li></ul></div></div></div><p>Food allergens can also be hidden in common party dishes such as cookies, cakes, candies or other foods. Always ask the cook or the host if dishes contain foods your child is allergic to.</p><p>Far more people have a food intolerance than a food allergy. Unlike a food allergy, a food intolerance does not involve an immune reaction. Rather, it produces unpleasant symptoms as food is digested. These symptoms appear over a few hours rather than as soon as the food is swallowed or inhaled.</p><h3>Common airborne allergens</h3><p>Dust mites are common airborne allergens. These tiny bugs live in warm, damp, dusty places in your home and survive by eating dead skin cells. Their waste is a major cause of allergies and asthma.</p><div class="akh-series"><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Common_airborne_allergens_EQUIP_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="Illustration of moulds, dust mites, pollens, pet dander and cockroaches" /> </figure> <p>Other common airborne allergens include:</p><ul><li>pollen from trees, weeds and other plants</li><li>mould</li><li>pet dander (dead skin cells from pets)</li><li>cockroaches</li></ul></div></div></div><h3>Other common allergens</h3><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=800&language=English">Insect bites or stings</a></li><li>Medicines</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>An allergy is the immune system’s over-reaction to a substance that is generally not harmful to most people.</li><li>If you suspect that your child has an allergy, an allergist can do tests to find out exactly what is causing the allergy and discuss with you how to manage these allergies.</li><li>To reduce your child’s exposure to airborne allergens, have a pet-free home and remove carpeting.</li><li>To manage a food allergy, make sure your child avoids all foods they are allergic to, learns how to read food labels and ask about the ingredients in served food.</li><li>If your child has a severe allergy, tell their teachers and other caregivers.</li><li>If you suspect your child is having an anaphylactic reaction, give epinephrine (if available) and call 911. </li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of allergies</h2><p>Allergic reactions will vary from child to child and from allergen to allergen. Where you live can also affect the type and severity of the allergy.</p><h3>Symptoms for food allergens and insect bites or stings</h3><p>Your child’s response to a food allergy or insect bite will depend on how sensitive they are to that food or bug. Symptoms can include:</p><ul><li>itchy mouth and throat when food is swallowed</li><li>skin rashes, such as <a href="/Article?contentid=789&language=English">hives</a> (raised, red, itchy bumps)</li><li>sneezing</li><li>itchy, runny or stuffy nose</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=782&language=English">conjunctivitis</a> (red, swollen eyes) or itchy, watery eyes</li></ul><h3>Symptoms for airborne allergens</h3><p>Common symptoms with airborne allergens may include:</p><ul><li>sneezing</li><li>itchy nose or throat</li><li>stuffy or runny nose</li><li>red, itchy and/or watery eyes</li><li>headaches or plugged ears</li></ul><h3>Symptoms of severe allergic reactions</h3><p>Anaphylaxis is the most severe type of allergic reaction. Even exposure to small amounts of allergens can trigger anaphylaxis in some allergic children.</p><p>The signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis may include sudden onset of:</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=789&language=English">hives</a>, itching, redness of the skin</li><li>swollen eyes, lips, tongue or face</li><li>difficulty breathing, tightness of the throat or difficulty swallowing</li><li>abdominal (belly) pain, nausea, <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a> or sudden onset of <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=7&language=English">diarrhea</a></li><li>coughing</li><li>stuffy and/or runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing</li><li><a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=779&language=English">fainting</a>, confusion, lightheadedness or dizziness</li><li>rapid or irregular heartbeats</li><li>cold, clammy, sweaty skin</li><li>voice changes</li></ul><p>Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical care. Give <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=130&language=English">epinephrine</a> (if available) and call an ambulance.</p><h2>What causes an allergic reaction?</h2><p>Allergens may come in contact with the skin or be breathed in, eaten or injected.</p><p>When the body detects an allergen, it sends a signal to the immune system to produce antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). Those antibodies cause certain cells in the body to release chemicals called histamines. Histamines travel through the bloodstream to fight the invading substance or allergen.</p><p>Your child’s allergic reaction depends on which part of their body has been exposed to the allergen. Most commonly, allergic reactions affect the eyes, inside of the nose, throat, lungs or skin.</p><h2>What your child's doctor can do for allergies</h2><p>If you suspect your child has an allergy, they should see an allergist. This is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies.</p><p>To identify your child's allergy, the allergist will usually:</p><ul><li>examine your child</li><li>ask for your child’s allergy history</li><li>ask for a description of your child’s allergic symptoms</li></ul><p>Your child might then have skin tests, blood tests, a chest X-ray, a lung function test or an exercise tolerance test. The allergist will explain these tests to you.</p><p>When the tests are done, the allergist will use the results to make a diagnosis. You and your child will meet the allergist at a later date to discuss them.</p><h3>How to prepare for an allergy test</h3><p>Your child may need to stop using certain medications for a period of time before an allergy test. These medications may include antihistamines. Always ask your doctor if your child should stop taking medications before the visit.</p><h2>Taking care of your child with an allergy at home</h2><p>If your child has a severe allergy, your doctor might give you a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector such as an EpiPen or Allerject. Your doctor can show you how and when to use the auto-injector. You or your child may need to carry one at all times.</p><p>As much as possible, try to prevent allergic reactions by reducing your child's contact with the allergen(s). The steps you take depend on the substance to which your child is allergic. Discuss this with your child's doctor.</p><h2>How to prevent allergic reactions</h2><h3>Food allergens</h3><p>Your child must avoid all foods they are allergic to. Some children may outgrow their allergies, but others may have to avoid the allergen for life.</p><p>Avoiding a food allergen can be difficult. As a result, many children unintentionally eat food they are allergic to.</p><p>If your child has a food allergy, teach them to be aware of the foods to avoid and all the possible names of those foods. You and your child should learn to read labels on food packaging and ask questions about served food. Your child should also know why it is important to look for an allergen in ingredients.</p><p>It is also important to tell all caregivers about your child’s allergy and any foods or drinks your child must avoid.</p><h3>Airborne allergens</h3><ul><li>Have a pet-free home. Or if you have a pet, keep it out of the child’s room and bathe it regularly.</li><li>Remove carpets and rugs from the home, especially from your child’s bedroom. Hard floor surfaces do not collect dust as much as carpets do. If you have carpeting, you should try to vacuum at least once a week.</li><li>Reduce the relative humidity in the home.</li><li>Wash bedding in hot water. This will help reduce dust mites.</li><li>Control contact with outdoor pollen by closing windows in peak seasons. Use an air conditioning system with a small-particle filter.</li><li>Get rid of items in the home that collect dust. These include heavy drapes or old, unclean furniture.</li><li>Clean your home often. Change your home furnace filter regularly as recommended.</li><li>Seal pillows and mattresses if your child is allergic to dust mites.</li><li>Keep bathrooms and other mould-prone areas clean and dry.</li></ul><h2>When to get medical help for an allergic reaction</h2><p>Call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency department if they have anaphylaxis. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:</p><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=789&language=English">hives</a>, itching, redness of the skin</li><li>swollen eyes, lips, tongue or face</li><li>difficulty breathing, tightness of the throat or difficulty swallowing</li><li>abdominal (belly) pain, nausea, vomiting or sudden onset of diarrhea</li><li>coughing</li><li>stuffy and/or runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=779&language=English">fainting</a>, confusion, lightheadedness or dizziness</li><li>rapid or irregular heartbeats</li><li>cold, clammy, sweaty skin</li><li>voice changes</li></ul><p>Your child should go to the nearest emergency department even if they have received epinephrine, as the symptoms can start again after the epinephrine is given.</p><h2>​Virtual care services for children<br></h2><p>Boomerang Health was opened by SickKids to provide communities in Ontario with greater access to community-based services for children and adolescents. For more information on virtual care services in Ontario to support a child with allergies, visit <a href="http://www.boomeranghealth.com/services/allergy/">Boomerang Health</a> powered by SickKids.<br></p><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/allergies.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />allergiesallergieshttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/allergies.jpg Discover different types of allergens, the signs and symptoms of allergies, causes, and what to do if your child has an allergic reaction.Main
COVID-19COVID-19COVID-19CEnglishInfectious DiseasesChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NAImmune systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2020-03-26T04:00:00Z000Landing PageLearning Hub<p>Learn about COVID-19 and how to talk to and support your family. Also find resources such as videos and audio meditations to help you cope.</p><p>This hub includes resources on COVID-19 and how to help you cope. There are resources on how to support your child's mental health and general wellbeing through physical activity, sleep, nutrition and learning. Also included are videos and audio meditations to help you cope with stressful thoughts and experiences that occur throughout your day.<br></p> <br> <div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jwwwF9KQ7CQ"></iframe> <br></div> <br><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">COVID-19 information</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find information about COVID-19 from AboutKidsHealth.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3872&language=English">Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) </a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3907&language=English">Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html">Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3863&language=English">COVID-19: Information for parents of immunocompromised children and children with chronic medical conditions</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3870&language=English&hub=COVID-19">COVID-19: Information for parents of children with congenital heart disease</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://covid19healthliteracyproject.com/#languages">COVID-19 fact sheets in 34 different languages (Harvard Health Publishing)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/public-resources">COVID-19 public resources (Public Health Ontario)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.pcmch.on.ca/covid-19-resources-for-children-youth-and-families/">COVID-19 resources for children, youth, and families (Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/the-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19">The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus">The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Ontario Ministry of Health)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/9Ay4u7OYOhA">6 steps to prevent COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">COVID-19 vaccines</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find information about the COVID-19 vaccines that are available in Canada and about their safety and effectiveness.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3937&language=English">COVID-19 vaccines</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines.html">Vaccines for COVID-19: Authorized vaccines</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario">COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">COVID-19 testing</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find information that will help you and your child prepare or either a saliva test or a nasopharyngeal swab.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/COVID-19%20Testing%20How%20to%20prepare%20and%20comfort%20your%20child.pdf">COVID-19 Testing: How to prepare and comfort your child</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Ru-vFZdImes">Saliva testing (video)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/nO1L-oYo9TA">Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab (video)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3908&language=English">After your child’s COVID-19 test</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/8d9SPC7T6KM">After your child's COVID-19 test - Virtual discharge (video)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Talking to your child about COVID-19</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Helpful resources that provide information about how to explain and talk to your child about COVID-19. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3866&language=English">How to talk to your child about COVID-19</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="http://hollandbloorview.ca/services/family-workshops-resources/family-resource-centre/explaining-covid-19-kids">Explaining COVID-19 and Coronavirus to children (Holland Bloorview)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/how-can-we-talk-to-kids-about-covid-19">How can we talk to kids about COVID-19? Be “realistically reassuring” (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-coronavirus#.XmuZ3QV_gax.twitter">How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus (PBS)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3869&language=English">Supporting your child with a neurodevelopmental disorder through the COVID-19 crisis</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cmho.org/blog/blog-news/6519918-talking-to-your-anxious-child-about-covid-19">Talking to your anxious child about COVID-19 (Children's Mental Health Ontario)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Coping</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Information on how to help your child cope with stress during the COVID-19 crisis and how to help them deal with separation from family and friend. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3868&language=English">Coping with separation from family and friends during COVID-19</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3882&language=English">COVID-19: Frequently asked questions</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3883&language=English">COVID-19: Well-being and mental health resources</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3888&language=English">Stressed adults and anxious young children: Supporting infants, toddlers and preschoolers through COVID-19</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3867&language=English">Is my child or adolescent feeling stressed about COVID-19?</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/disaster">Helping children and teens cope with stressful public events (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/how-to-help-youth-tackle-the-blues-during-covid-19">How to help youth tackle the blues during COVID-19 and #physicaldistancing (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-through-uncertain-times">Supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times (Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Mental health</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Taking care of your mental health during difficult and stressful times is important. Learn more about anxiety and depression.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=18&language=English">Anxiety: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3810&language=English">Anxiety and anxiety disorders</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20Individual%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020_v2.pdf">CARD: Coping with your own fears and anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20caregiver%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020.pdf">CARD: Helping your child cope with anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=19&language=English">Depression: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-health-and-covid-19">Mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic (CAMH)</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Parenting</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find some helpful information on parenting during the COVID-19 crisis. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/jwwwF9KQ7CQ">Parenting during COVID-19 and beyond (podcast)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3935&language=English">Keeping your child active during the COVID-19 pandemic</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/health_information_on_the_internet">A parent’s guide to health information on the Internet (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/covid-youth-and-substance-use-critical-messages-for-youth-and-families">COVID, youth, and substance use: Critical messages for youth and families (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.cps.ca/en/blog-blogue/parenting-during-covid-19-a-new-frontier">Parenting during COVID-19: A new frontier (Canadian Pediatric Society)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.sickkids.ca/en/news/archive/2021/updated-covid19-school-operation-guidance-document-released/">SickKids - Updated guidance for school operation during the pandemic</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://hollandbloorview.ca/sites/default/files/2020-07/HB-BackToSchool-Recommendations.pdf">Return to school recommendations for children with special needs (Holland Bloorview)</a></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Learning</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=651&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Reading milestones</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1903&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Reading: How to help early and struggling readers</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3871&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Writing milestones</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1881&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Visual-motor skills: How to foster in children</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=722&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Mathematics milestones</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=721&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Mathematics: How to help your pre-school and school-aged child</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=649&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Spatial reasoning skills: How to foster in children</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Well-being</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find out how physical activity, a healthy sleep routine, screen time limits and balanced nutrition can boost your child's mental health and support them to achieve better academic success and help them through difficult times. </p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Handwashing</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1981&language=English">Hand hygiene</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/handwashing">Handwashing for parents and children (Caring for Kids)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=7PKwE1jIuws&feature=emb_title">Protect don’t infect (CHEO)</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Sleep</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=645&language=English">Sleep: Benefits and recommended amounts</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3632&language=English">Sleep and your mental health: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3633&language=English">Sleep and mental health: Sorting out your sleep routine</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=646&language=English">How to help your child get a good night's sleep</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=647&language=English">How to help your teen get a good night's sleep</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Physical activity</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3783&language=English">Physical activity and mental health: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3784&language=English">Physical activity and mental health: Types of physical activity</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=641&language=English">Physical activity: Benefits of exercise for health and wellbeing</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=642&language=English">Physical activity: Guidelines for children and teens</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Nutrition</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3773&language=English">Nutrition and mental health: The basics of a healthy diet</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=639&language=English">How a balanced diet and healthy eating habits can help your child's mental health</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3774&language=English">Nutrition and mental health: Developing positive eating habits</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1464&language=English&hub=COVID-19">Meal ideas for school-aged children, tweens and teens</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=638&language=English">Healthy eating for teens</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Screen time and social media</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=643&language=English">Screen time: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3775&language=English">Screen time for teens: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=644&language=English">How to help your child set healthy screen time limits</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3776&language=English">Setting limits and staying safe with screen time</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3894&language=English">Supporting healthy and responsible screen use during COVID-19</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Stress and resilience</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3777&language=English">Stress and health</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://teens.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3778&language=English">How to become more resilient</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Tools, videos and resources for you and your child</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find helpful resources including handouts, videos and other resources about COVID-19.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20Individual%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020_v2.pdf">CARD: Coping with your own fears and anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20caregiver%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020.pdf">CARD: Helping your child cope with anxiety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBkA2ZTUnyI&feature=youtu.be">Dr. Cheddar chats with Dr. Ronni from SickKids (video)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/nO1L-oYo9TA">Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab (video)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r51gYrDzpHQ">Physical distancing (video)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=7PKwE1jIuws&feature=emb_title">Protect don’t infect (CHEO)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.brainson.org/shows/2020/03/10/understanding-coronavirus-and-how-germs-spread-for-kids?fbclid=IwAR21Y_n6fsy33QD2s07In2Q892xQoI5OEFMMZ5vcMyVoLdkH8tv4yZjaZsc">Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread (Brains On!)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-info/were-here-for-you-during-covid-19-novel-coronavirus/">We’re here for you during COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) (Kids Help Phone)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNinywG7BtY">What is personal protective equipment (PPE) (video)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/gqeyRuvF9WU">Your virtual video visit overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3889&language=English">Virtual care at SickKids</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=3910&language=English">Virtual care: How to accurately measure your child’s height and weight at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Videos to support sleep and mindfulness</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Find videos that will help you prepare for sleep and for when you need a moment of peace, to understand your situation more clearly and coping with stressful thoughts and experiences.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Sleep video</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/2fbaoqkY0Qk">Sleep: A bed time story</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Mindfulness videos</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/nQdM_Cku9pA">A moment of peace</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/cFCiUlFKuO4">Two wings to fly</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/jaNAwy3XsfI">Being with all of your experiences</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/0QXmmP4psbA">You are not your thoughts</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Ty93GRPplJo">Dealing with difficult moments</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/QTsUEOUaWpY">Everyday mindfulness</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/GgBVIZAEQqU">STOP for mindfulness</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYcLfBf-T9c">Stress and thinking: The mind/body connection</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/EWzDHN7Jdg8">Dealing with flares: Controlling the controllables</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h2 class="panel-title">Audio meditations for mindfulness and coping</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Listen to these meditations in a quiet, comfortable spot to practise mindfulness, learn about ways to cope with physical and emotional pain or discomfort and to help you with stress throughout your day.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Mindfulness</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/3cevA6EjCbE">5 senses</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/gqMu6kFfQcE">Dropping the anchor</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/O5F3-Xw2XPE">The mountain</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/84Tr734KXO8">Dilute the yuck</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/YnL-hjXo4EQ">Self-compassion</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/fZdw6wm3A3E">Body scan</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/jc64ap852FU">Circle of gratitude</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/LMu-r-KZ_l8">Tree meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/xcO8IIeV12M">Mindfulness of thought</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Coping with physical and emotional pain</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/84Tr734KXO8">Dilute the yuck</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/3IK7yWuEs3k">Visualize your pain</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/UbTyPgHf8z4">Soften, soothe, allow</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/NN7fz8lMTIM">Ice cube</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/e0JMtabUVvQ">Comfort your pain</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"> <i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span><h3>Finding calm/coping with stress</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/RQJNdVtHxlY">Time for rest</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/RpHvQkHYrZ0">Allowing rest</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/gqMu6kFfQcE">Dropping the anchor</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/EnrNtaMskik">Breathing meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/CMcx9tJ70rA">Joy</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/EL_fvAepwv8">Equal breathing</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/QSf0JS0O16Q">Key word guided meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Tsi2np8xtVY">Bell meditation</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/263e093H5eM">Bell sounds</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/Jqu3SOEKtvE">Progressive muscle relaxation with tension</a></li><li class="list-group-item"><a class="overview-links" href="https://youtu.be/4ilNITE3-fE">Relaxation with imagery</a></li></ol></li></ol></div> <div class="asset-video"> <br> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLjJtOP3StIuU99GGMBBV2N_b2tsRwMx0m"></iframe> <p>Above is our COVID-focused playlist. See "Tools, videos and resources for you and your child" in the menu above for more videos or visit the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/Aboutkidshealth">AboutKidHealth YouTube channel</a>.</p></div>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/iStock-1157093074.jpgCOVID-19,COVID19COVID-19Main
Celiac diseaseCeliac diseaseCeliac diseaseCEnglishGastrointestinalBaby (1-12 months);Toddler (13-24 months);Preschooler (2-4 years);School age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Small IntestineSmall intestineConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_celiac_disease_EN.jpg2021-03-15T04:00:00Z9.2000000000000056.60000000000001802.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Celiac disease is a lifelong condition. Learn about the symptoms of celiac disease, how celiac disease is diagnosed, how it is treated and how gluten affects people with celiac disease.</p><h2>What is celiac disease?</h2><p>Celiac disease can affect people of all ages anywhere in the world. In people with celiac disease, any contact with gluten (a family of food proteins) triggers a reaction from the body’s defense (immune) system. This immune response to gluten causes damage to the gut (small intestine) lining. This is why celiac disease is called an autoimmune disease.</p><p>A healthy small intestine is lined with tiny finger-like projections, called villi, that stick up from the surface. Villi increase the area available to absorb nutrients from food. When children with celiac disease are exposed to gluten, the resulting immune reaction damages villi, which become flat. As a result:</p><ul><li>This may affect the absorption of nutrients. This is called malabsorption.</li><li>A lack of nutrients may affect growth and development.</li><li>It also may cause symptoms of celiac disease, such as <a href="/Article?contentid=7&language=English"> diarrhea</a>, constipation and stomach pain.</li></ul> <figure class="asset-c-100"><span class="asset-image-title">Celiac disease: Villi damage</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_celiac_disease_EN.jpg" alt="Inside view of small intestine, comparing behaviours of nutrients in intestine with healthy villi to one with celiac disease" /><figcaption class="asset-image-caption">A healthy small intestine is lined with finger-like projections (villi) which help the intestine to absorb nutrients. With celiac disease, the villi become damaged and flattened. This may affect the absorption of nutrients.</figcaption></figure> <h2>What is gluten?</h2><p>Gluten is the common name of a family of proteins found in grains that cause the intestinal damage in celiac disease. Gliadin and glutenin are the two main gluten proteins.</p><p>Gluten is found in:</p><ul><li>all forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and farro)</li><li>wheat hybrids (including triticale which is a mix of wheat and rye)</li><li>rye</li><li>barley </li></ul><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which any contact with gluten (a family of food proteins) triggers a reaction from the body’s defense (immune) system.</li><li>Gluten is found in rye, barley, triticale and all forms of wheat.</li><li>In celiac disease, the lining of the small intestine is damaged by the immune system reaction. This means that it will be harder for your child’s body to get nutrients from foods.</li><li>Common symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, constipation, tiredness, headaches and poor growth. Some people experience no symptoms at all.</li><li>The only treatment for celiac disease is following a strict gluten-free diet for life. Your child should never start a gluten-free diet before your doctor confirms the diagnosis.</li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of celiac disease</h2><p>Some people with celiac disease may have no symptoms at all.</p><p>However, many people with celiac disease experience a range of symptoms. When a person with celiac disease is exposed to gluten, they may have trouble with their gastrointestinal system, malabsorption-related issues and other symptoms. Below are some common symptoms of celiac disease. Some people may only have one of these symptoms, while others may experience multiple symptoms.</p> <a href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Poster_celiac_symptoms_ENG.pdf"><figure class="asset-small"><img alt="Download celiac symptoms poster PDF" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/celiac_symptoms_PDFdownload.jpg" /> </figure> </a> <h3>Gastrointestinal system symptoms</h3><p>When a person with celiac disease is exposed to gluten, they may experience one or more of the following gastrointestinal symptoms:</p><ul><li>tummy pain and/or cramps</li><li><a href="/article?contentid=7&language=english">diarrhea</a></li><li> <a href="/article?contentid=6&language=english">constipation</a></li><li> <a href="/article?contentid=822&language=english">excessive gas</a></li><li>nausea</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=746&language=English">vomiting</a></li><li>bloating of the abdomen (tummy)</li><li>abdominal distension (expansion)</li><li>decrease in appetite</li></ul><h3>Malabsorption-related symptoms</h3><p>They may also experience one or more symptoms that are not related to the gastrointestinal system but are due to nutrient malabsorption. These may include:</p><ul><li>tiredness (fatigue)</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=841&language=English">anemia</a> (low blood haemoglobin from iron malabsorption)</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1453&language=English">vitamin or mineral </a>deficiencies (e.g. iron, vitamins <a href="/Article?contentid=1447&language=English">D</a> and <a href="/Article?contentid=1446&language=English">B12</a>.)</li><li>poor growth (not as tall as expected)</li><li>weight loss or poor weight gain</li><li>delayed puberty</li></ul><h3>Brain</h3><p>A person with celiac disease may experience one or more symptoms affecting their mental health including:</p><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=29&language=English">headaches</a> or migraines</li><li>difficulty concentrating</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=19&language=English">depression</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=18&language=English">anxiety</a></li><li>mood swings and irritability</li></ul><h3>Skin</h3><p>People with celiac disease may also experience skin conditions including:</p><ul><li>skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)</li><li>brittle nails</li></ul><h3>Mouth</h3><p>Symptoms of celiac disease that affect the mouth include:</p><ul><li>mouth sores</li><li>tooth enamel defects</li></ul><h3>Reproductive</h3><p>Both males and females with celiac disease may experience issues related to reproduction including:</p><ul><li>infertility (difficulty conceiving children, in both men and women)</li><li>miscarriage</li><li>menstrual irregularities</li></ul><h3>Body</h3><p>Other celiac disease symptoms that could affect parts of the body include:</p><ul><li>low bone density, including osteopenia (mild) or <a href="/Article?contentid=948&language=English">osteoporosis </a> (more serious bone density problem)</li><li>joint pain</li><li>tiredness (fatigue)</li><li>liver and biliary tract disorders</li></ul><h2>Causes, risk factors and prevalence of celiac disease</h2><p>Celiac disease affects about 1 in 100 Canadians (roughly 350,000 people). It occurs in people all over the world, at any age and from all backgrounds. People develop celiac disease because of a combination of a genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. </p><p>People with a relative with celiac disease or who have certain genetic conditions (such as <a href="/Article?contentid=9&language=English">Down syndrome</a> or <a href="/Article?contentid=869&language=English">Turner syndrome</a>) are at higher risk of developing celiac disease.</p><p>People who already have one autoimmune condition, such as <a href="/Article?contentid=1719&language=English">type 1 diabetes</a>, are at higher risk for developing other autoimmune conditions, such as celiac disease.</p><h2>How celiac disease is diagnosed</h2><h3>Blood tests</h3><p>Doctors can order <a href="/article?contentid=36&language=english">blood tests</a> to screen for celiac disease. These blood tests look for immune proteins (called auto-antibodies) that the body has made in response to gluten in people with celiac disease.</p><p>The possible blood tests include:</p><ul><li>Anti-tissue transglutaminase (TTG) antibodies</li><li>Anti-deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP) antibodies</li><li>Anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA)</li></ul><p>Your doctor does not need to order all of these blood tests to screen for celiac disease. </p><p>Depending on the results, your doctor or health-care provider will talk to you about further testing to confirm celiac disease. </p><h3>Upper endoscopy</h3><p>An <a href="/Article?contentid=2472&language=English">upper endoscopy</a> may help confirm the diagnosis. An upper endoscopy is a procedure that allows doctors to see the upper part of your child’s gastrointestinal system (from the mouth to the top part of the small intestine). Never start your child on a gluten-free diet before you know for sure whether an upper endoscopy is needed to confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"><span class="asset-image-title">Upper endoscopy</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_endoscope_EN.jpg" alt="The esophagus, stomach and duodenum are identified with endoscope inserted through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach" /><figcaption class="asset-image-caption">During an upper endoscopy, a thin flexible tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the mouth and down the esophagus to look at the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (top part of the small intestine).</figcaption> </figure> <h3>Biopsy of the small intestine</h3><p>During an upper endoscopy, small pieces of tissue (biopsies) of the small intestine are taken; they will be examined under a microscope. If your child has celiac disease, the biopsy will show that the villi are damaged and flattened in the sample from the small intestine.</p><p>Never start your child on a gluten-free diet without first getting a confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease. If a biopsy is done after your child starts a gluten-free diet, your child’s villi may look normal because they will have had a chance to heal since the immune response will have stopped. The biopsy may give a false negative result, which means that the result is negative even though your child has celiac disease.</p><p>Talk to your child’s doctor for more information about screening for celiac disease.</p><h2>Treatment of celiac disease</h2><p>Celiac disease is a life-long condition. There is no cure or medication for celiac disease. The only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet for life. The diet will help with the symptoms and will keep your child healthy.</p><p>Even if your child has no symptoms, once diagnosed your child must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life for treatment of the disease. This means they must remove all sources of gluten from their diet. There are some obvious sources of gluten such as breads, pasta and baked goods. There are also many foods where gluten is hidden, such as soups, salad dressings and ice creams.</p><p>Some non-food products may also contain gluten, such as hand creams, medications or arts and crafts supplies like playdough. It is important for your child to limit skin contact with <a href="/Article?contentid=956&language=English">gluten-containing products</a> as it is possible for people with celiac disease to transfer gluten from their skin to their mouth and gut when they are in contact with gluten, which is not safe. Contact with gluten can also trigger skin reactions in some people with celiac disease.</p><h3>Starting treatment: The gluten-free diet</h3><p>Once gluten is removed from your child’s diet, the small intestine will start to heal. Your child should start to feel better and symptoms should improve after about six months of being strictly gluten-free. </p><h3>Maintaining treatment: Sticking to a gluten-free diet for life</h3><p>Do not stop the gluten-free diet if your child’s symptoms improve. Your child is feeling better because the gluten-free diet is working. If your child stops the gluten-free diet, the villi in the small intestine will become damaged and flattened again, even if they have no symptoms. Any previous symptoms will also return if your child does not follow a strict gluten-free diet. </p><p>If your child’s symptoms of celiac disease do not improve after six months, contact your child's doctor.</p><p>These <a href="/Article?contentid=957&language=English">tips and resources</a> can help you and your child stick to a strict gluten-free diet.</p><h3>What happens without a gluten-free diet?</h3><p>Gluten is toxic to people with celiac disease because it triggers an immune reaction even if your child shows no symptoms.</p><p>If your child continues to be exposed to gluten, celiac disease may lead to future health problems including:</p><ul><li>low bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis)</li><li>some small bowel cancers</li><li>other autoimmune diseases (for example thyroid problems)</li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1453&language=English">vitamins and mineral</a> deficiencies because of malabsorption</li><li> <a href="/prematurebabies?topic=prematurebabiesabout">premature delivery</a> if pregnant</li></ul><p>If your child follows a strict gluten-free diet for life, their chances of getting these conditions become the same as the general healthy population.</p><p>Children with celiac disease that is not treated are at special risk. Malnutrition during childhood can have significant effects on growth and development. This is why it is so important for your child to remain on a strict gluten-free diet at all times.</p><h2>Monitoring your child’s symptoms</h2><p>After the diagnosis, no other upper endoscopy is usually needed. Your child will have more blood tests that check anti-TTG antibody levels. As your child continues a strict gluten-free diet, their antibody levels should lower to normal levels. This may take up to 2 years. High antibody levels tell the doctor that your child was probably exposed to gluten.</p><p>Your child’s doctor will also make sure that your child is growing well. If your child had symptoms at the time of diagnosis, they should improve while on a strict gluten-free diet.</p><h2>When to see a doctor</h2> <p>See your child’s doctor if:</p> <ul> <li>your child’s symptoms remain after more than six months of following a strict gluten-free diet</li> <li>your child’s symptoms worsen</li> </ul> <p>Your child’s doctor may refer you to a dietitian. A dietitian can give you more advice about celiac disease, how to plan a gluten-free diet, and how to get a balance of nutrients while following a gluten-free diet.<br></p> May is Celiac Awareness Month. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and how gluten affects people with celiac disease. Main
Learning disabilities: OverviewLearning disabilities: OverviewLearning disabilities: OverviewLEnglishDevelopmentalPreschooler (2-4 years);School age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAHealthy living and preventionCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2020-03-03T05:00:00Z12.900000000000027.10000000000001400.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>A learning disability is when a child with age-appropriate intellectual abilities has significant challenges with reading, writing or math. Learn about learning disabilities, their symptoms, and how they are diagnosed and treated.</p><h2>What is a learning disability?</h2><p>All children find school hard sometimes, but learning disabilities are different. Children with learning disabilities have average to above average intellectual abilities, but experience considerable challenges with reading, writing, and/or math. These learning problems affect how they perform in school, and their achievements in these areas fall well below what is expected for children of their age, grade and intellectual abilities.</p><p>Learning disabilities range in severity and may affect a child’s:</p><ul><li>reading (decoding and comprehension)</li><li>written language (spelling and written expression)</li><li>mathematics (computation and application)</li></ul><p>If your child has age-appropriate intellectual abilities, but has difficulty with one or more of these learning-related skills, they may have a learning disability.</p><div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tALQxNuNip4" frameborder="0"></iframe><br></div><p>For more videos from SickKids experts in collaboration with Youngster, visit <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoKMd2cYwegtZX19uHdNLQA">Youngster on YouTube</a>.</p><h2>Types of learning disabilities</h2><p>There are many specific learning disabilities. The most common are reading, writing, and math disabilities.</p><h3>Reading disabilities</h3><p><a href="/Article?contentid=3859&language=English">Reading disabilities</a> may include problems with:</p><ul><li>Phonological processing—the ability to break up words into sounds</li><li>Reading fluency or reading speed</li><li>Reading comprehension</li></ul><h3>Writing disabilities</h3><p><a href="/Article?contentid=3860&language=English">Writing disabilities</a> may include problems with:</p><ul><li>Composition: generating or organizing ideas</li><li>Spelling</li><li>Grammar</li><li>Handwriting</li></ul><h3>Math disabilities</h3><p><a href="/Article?contentid=3861&language=English">Math disabilities</a> may involve problems with:</p><ul><li>Grouping objects</li><li>Counting objects</li><li>Recognizing number symbols</li><li>Copying numbers</li><li>Using arithmetic signs correctly</li><li>Understanding math terms and operations</li><li>Following sequences of math steps</li><li>Learning multiplication tables</li><li>Decoding written problems into math symbols</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>A child with a learning disability has significant challenges with reading, writing, and/or math.</li><li>Learning disabilities are often diagnosed with a psychoeducational assessment. An assessment can be done through your child’s school or privately.</li><li>Children may be supported with accommodations and/or interventions.</li></ul><h2>Early warning signs of possible learning disabilities</h2><p>It is important to be aware of the early signs of learning disabilities. Early intervention may allow your child to catch up to their peers. Parents are the key to the early identification of their child’s learning disability.</p><p>Most learning disabilities are identified years after a child has started school, usually by the third grade. However, there are many warning signs that appear before a child enters school. Parents are in the best position to notice these early signs and get their child help.</p><p>Children who have speech and language difficulties before starting school are more likely to experience learning disabilities later in their development. These language difficulties are called communication disorders, which involve problems with different aspects of spoken language. These can include:</p><ul><li>Trouble recognizing and producing speech sounds (poor <a href="/Article?contentid=1896&language=English">phonological awareness</a>)</li><li>A lack of speech fluency, meaning that words do not come effortlessly</li><li>Poor communication skills</li><li>Difficulty understanding others</li></ul><h3>Speech and language difficulties at an early age</h3><p>Signs that your child may be having speech and language difficulties include:</p><ul><li>Few spoken words by two years of age</li><li>Indistinct, garbled speech after three years of age</li><li>Trouble learning words to songs or nursery rhymes</li><li>Difficulty expressing themselves in words after three years of age</li><li>Trouble recalling specific words; saying “thing” a lot</li><li>Using immature forms of grammar longer than expected (e.g., “I goed to the park”)</li><li>Mixing up word order in sentences</li><li>Trouble answering “why” questions, once in school</li><li>Trouble retelling familiar stories, once in school</li></ul><p>Stuttering and speech impediments are problems with speech that may not indicate a language problem or learning disability.</p><h3>Other signs of a learning disability</h3><p>Children who have learning disabilities may also experience behavioural or emotional symptoms. These can include:</p><ul><li>Seeming distracted or expressing boredom when participating in learning activities</li><li>Acting out at school or at home</li><li>Refusing to participate in learning activities or complete homework</li><li>Avoiding school or expressing anxiety/worry over attending school</li><li>Not finishing tests or assignments, or requiring more time to complete them</li><li>Displaying a low self-esteem</li></ul><p>These symptoms by themselves do not indicate a learning disability; but combined with academic challenges, they may warrant further investigation.</p><h2>What causes learning disabilities?</h2><p>The exact causes of learning disabilities are not known. However, genetics and environmental factors can increase your child’s risk of developing learning disabilities.</p><p>Learning disabilities are <strong>not</strong> caused by factors such as cultural or language differences, inadequate or inappropriate instruction, socio-economic status or lack of motivation, although these things can have an impact on the challenges that your child experiences.</p><h2>How common are learning disabilities?</h2><p>It is estimated that between 4-6% of Canadians have some form of learning disability.</p><h2>Will my child always have a learning disability?</h2><p>Although learning disabilities are life-long, the impact on everyday functioning can be reduced through intervention and support strategies. The severity of challenges varies from child to child. You may notice that your child displays some struggles as early as their pre-school years, or signs of a learning disability may only begin to become evident later in life.</p><h2>Diagnosis of learning disabilities</h2><p>Many schools in Canada require a learning disability diagnosis in order for a child to receive targeted supports and accommodations.</p><p>If you suspect your child might have a learning disability, it is important to share your concerns with your child’s teachers. They will be able to observe your child’s learning, and identify available resources and strategies to help improve your child’s skills. If the resources and strategies provided by the school do not help improve your child’s learning, your child might benefit from a formal assessment.</p><div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZbtV1QKBaFc" frameborder="0"></iframe> <br></div><p>For more videos from SickKids experts in collaboration with Youngster, visit <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoKMd2cYwegtZX19uHdNLQA">Youngster on YouTube</a>.</p><h3>Psychoeducational assessment</h3><p>To diagnose a learning disability, a child needs to have a psychoeducational assessment completed. The psychologist or psychological associate will first rule out cognitive or physical developmental delays. If the child’s achievement in reading, writing, or math is much lower than expected for their age and education history, and they have age-appropriate intellectual abilities, the child may be diagnosed with a learning disability.</p><p>A psychoeducational assessment may be available through your child’s school, community mental health centres, psychologists in private practice, and sometimes through psychology departments at hospitals.</p><h2>Treatment for learning disabilities</h2><p>It is important to act early to support a child’s development. Learning disabilities can be supported with two main approaches—accommodations and interventions.</p><h3>Accommodations</h3><p>Accommodations are changes made in the classroom to help students support their areas of need. Accommodations can be as simple as having someone take notes, or they can be as sophisticated as having text-reading computer software. Accommodations can help some children succeed without direct intervention.</p><h3>Interventions</h3><p>Interventions help students address their areas of need. Interventions teach children specific skills and allow them to become more independent learners.</p><p>There are many programs to help children with learning disabilities. These can be provided through <a href="/Article?contentid=1890&language=English">special education or remediation</a>. Special education is provided within the school system through the classroom, and remediation can be provided within or outside the school through special education teachers or tutors.</p><p>The earlier that intervention is started, the more successful it will be.</p><h3>Individualized Education Plan</h3><p>Once your child has been assessed and has received a diagnosis of a learning disability, their school will often create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to support their learning. An IEP is a document that outlines your child’s strengths and needs, as well as the accommodations and modifications that their school will implement to help them. An IEP will be kept in your child’s school record and will be reviewed and updated each year to make sure that the interventions are addressing their current needs.</p><h2>Living with a learning disability</h2><p>A learning disability is not anyone’s fault.</p><p>All children benefit from knowing about their personal learning style and gaining an appreciation for the fact that all people have different areas of strengths.</p><p>Here are some suggestions for how to work with your child at home if they have a learning disability:</p><ul><li>Foster curiosity. Wondering about the world helps keep a child’s love of learning.</li><li>Explore your child’s passions and interests.</li><li>Engage in non-academic skills, such as athletics, hobbies, music, or group activities.</li><li>Model how to cope with challenges.</li></ul><h2>Resources</h2><p>Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario<br> <a href="https://www.ldac-acta.ca/">https://www.ldac-acta.ca/</a></p><p>National Institute for Learning Development<br> <a href="https://nildcanada.org/">https://nildcanada.org/</a><br></p><p>Boomerang Health</p><p><a href="http://www.boomeranghealth.com/">www.boomeranghealth.com</a><br></p><p>​Boomerang Health was opened by SickKids to provide communities in Ontario with greater access to community-based services for children and adolescents. For more information on virtual care services in Ontario to support learning disabilities, visit <a href="http://www.boomeranghealth.com/services/child-psychology/">Boomerang Health</a> powered by SickKids.<br></p><h2>References</h2><p>Ontario Psychological Association Guidelines for Diagnosis and Assessment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Learning Disabilities: Consensus Statement and Supporting Documents (June 2018). <em>Ontario Psychological Association</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.psych.on.ca/getattachment/37646d71-1469-4731-a3c6-55a458a8238f/OPA-Guidelines-for-Diagnosis-and-Assessment-of-Learning-Disabilities-Sept-7-2018-%281%29-1.pdf">http://www.psych.on.ca/getattachment/37646d71-1469-4731-a3c6-55a458a8238f/OPA-Guidelines-for-Diagnosis-and-Assessment-of-Learning-Disabilities-Sept-7-2018-(1)-1.pdf</a>.</p><p>Official Definition of Learning Disabilities. <em>Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.ldao.ca/introduction-to-ldsadhd/what-are-lds/official-definition-of-lds/">http://www.ldao.ca/introduction-to-ldsadhd/what-are-lds/official-definition-of-lds/</a>.</p><p>Learning Disabilities Statistics. <em>Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.ldao.ca/introduction-to-ldsadhd/articles/about-lds/learning-disabilities-statistics/">http://www.ldao.ca/introduction-to-ldsadhd/articles/about-lds/learning-disabilities-statistics/</a>.</p><p>“Psychology Works” Fact Sheet: Learning Disabilities in Children (2015). <em>Canadian Psychological Association</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Publications/FactSheets/PsychologyWorksFactSheet_LearningDisabilitiesInChildren.pdf">https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Publications/FactSheets/PsychologyWorksFactSheet_LearningDisabilitiesInChildren.pdf</a>.</p><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/learning_disabilities_introduction.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Learning_disabilities-Overview.jpg A learning disability can be related to reading, writing or math. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities. Main
Moles (acquired nevi)Moles (acquired nevi)Moles (acquired nevi)MEnglishDermatologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)SkinSkinConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_nevus_EN.jpg2015-05-06T04:00:00Z7.6000000000000067.00000000000001150.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Moles are common skin growths that vary in size, colour and appearance. Find out how to tell the difference between benign and potentially harmful moles.</p><h2>What is a mole?</h2><p>A mole, or nevus, is a very common skin growth that occurs when skin colour cells, known as melanocytes, build up under the surface of the skin. Moles vary in size, colour and appearance and can also change over time. They are usually round, but they may also have an oval or jagged shape. Their colour ranges from pinkish red or light brown to dark brown or black.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Healthy and benign moles</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_nevus_EN.jpg" alt="" /> </figure> <p>Moles can be flat, bumpy or verrucous (like a wart). They usually occur in body parts that are frequently exposed to the sun, but they can be found anywhere, even inside the mouth, eyes and genitals.</p><p>Moles fall into two main groups:</p><ul><li>congenital melanocytic nevi – moles that your child has at birth or are noticed shortly after birth</li><li>acquired nevi – moles that develop later in life</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>Moles occur when there is a build-up of melanocytes under the skin. This can happen as a result of sun exposure, high levels of growth hormones or chemotherapy.</li> <li>Most moles are benign. They are symmetrical and have a regular border and even pigment throughout.</li> <li>The ABCDE acronym can help you, your child or a dermatologist identify any potentially harmful moles.</li> <li>To reduce the risk of harmful moles (melanoma), avoid too much sun exposure, use sunscreen and check your child’s skin at least once every six months.</li> </ul><h2>How do moles affect the body?</h2> <p>Moles are usually benign (harmless), but they can sometimes change and become skin cancer (melanoma). This can be very serious and sometimes lead to death if not treated in time.</p> <h2>Benign moles</h2> <p>A benign mole has the following three features.</p> <ul> <li>It is symmetrical – you can draw an imaginary line and divide it into two identical pieces.</li> <li>It has a regular border – there is a clear difference between the colour of the mole and skin around it.</li> <li>It has a uniform pigment – every area of the mole is the same colour.</li> </ul> <p>In general, benign moles:</p> <ul> <li>grow as your child grows, becoming bigger as the skin stretches</li> <li>get darker or lighter with time</li> <li>may sometimes have coarse hair growing from them</li> <li>will normally change a little throughout life, for example become raised over several years</li> </ul> <h2>Potentially harmful moles</h2> <p>A mole that is potentially harmful might:</p> <ul> <li>change shape</li> <li>rapidly grow (out of proportion with the child’s growth)</li> <li>develop an uneven colour</li> <li>form a scab or bleed without any injury</li> </ul> <p>A dermatologist (skin specialist) should examine your child’s skin if it looks different than it used to, if an area opens up, bleeds and has a hard time healing or if a new mole suddenly appears.</p><h2>What causes moles to appear?</h2><p>Several factors can cause moles to appear:</p><ul><li>sun exposure (more time in the sun increases the number of moles on your skin)</li><li>higher levels of cortisone, corticotropin and other hormones that help the body grow</li><li>chemotherapy (medication that treats cancer)</li><li> <a href="/article?contentid=1170&language=English">immunosuppression</a> (a weakened immune system that prevents the body from fighting infections).</li></ul><h2>Can children develop melanoma?</h2><p>Yes they can, although melanoma in children is very rare. Only one child in one million children below age 15 develops melanoma.</p><p>The risk factors for developing melanoma during childhood include:</p><ul><li>having dysplastic nevi (irregular looking moles)<br></li><li>having a close family member, such as a parent or grandparent, with a history of melanoma</li><li>having a large number (more than 100) of melanocytic nevi, or moles</li><li>being immunosuppressed or having inherited immunodeficiency (weakened immune system)</li><li>having a sun-sensitive phenotype (very fair skin, light coloured eyes and red or light hair)</li><li>being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun</li><li>having a history of malignancy (any form of cancer)</li><li>having a genetic disorder that makes the skin more sensitive to sun damage (for example xeroderma pigmentosum)</li></ul><h2>How is a potentially harmful mole diagnosed?</h2><p>Dermatologists and other health-care professionals use the letters "ABCDE" as a guide when checking the skin for potentially harmful changes in existing or new moles. You can also use this guide when checking your child’s skin at home. </p><ul><li> <strong>A </strong>stands for asymmetry (having two sides or halves that are not the same)</li><li> <strong>B</strong> stands for border irregularity (the borders of the mole are not well defined)</li><li> <strong>C </strong>stands for colour variation (different colour tones in the same mole, for example light and dark brown)</li><li> <strong>D </strong>stands for diameter larger than 6 mm</li><li> <strong>E </strong>stands for evolving (including any dramatic change in shape, colour or appearance in existing moles)</li></ul><p>If a mole has any of these characteristics, it should be examined more closely. A dermatoscopic examination (examining the skin using a special magnifying glass) or a <a href="/article?contentid=2464&language=English">skin biopsy</a> (examining a small sample of the mole’s cells under a microscope) can tell your dermatologist or doctor if the mole is benign or malignant.<br></p> <figure class="asset-c-100"> <span class="asset-image-title">ABCDEs of potentially harmful moles</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_mole_ABCDE_EN.jpg" alt="Illustration of normal moles and potentially harmful moles according to ABCDE guide" /> </figure><h2>How can I or my child inspect my child’s skin at home?</h2><ol><li>Do the inspection in a well-lit area.</li><li>If you are inspecting your child’s skin, gather a hair dryer, two chairs or stools, a camera or smartphone, a ruler and a pen and paper. If your child is inspecting their own skin, they will need these tools and two mirrors, one that is hand-held mirror and one hanging on a wall or a door.</li><li>Inspect the different parts of the body in the same order each time. For example, always work from the head down or the feet up.</li><li>If working down from the head, for example, start by parting your child’s hair with a hair dryer or your hands to check their scalp. This is easier to do when the hair is wet.</li><li>Check your child’s shoulders, chest and genital area.</li><li>Check the back of their shoulders, their upper and lower back and their buttocks.</li><li>Check their upper arms, elbows, forearms, wrists, hands, palms and fingers, including the space between their fingers.</li><li>Check their inner and outer legs, front and back, including their knees and ankles.</li><li>Check their feet and toes, including the soles and the space between the toes.</li><li>Take a photo of any moles with a ruler beside them so you can record the size and keep track of any changes over time.<br></li></ol><br><h2>What can I do to reduce the risk of melanoma?</h2><ul><li> <a href="/article?contentid=308&language=English">Avoid too much sun exposure</a> (use a hat and special SPF clothing at the beach or in sunny places).</li><li>Do not let your child or teenager use tanning beds.</li><li>Use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher, covering both UVA and UVB rays) every day, even during winter months, and reapply it periodically during the day.</li><li>Check the skin using the ABCDE acronym at least once every six months.</li><li>Talk to your child’s doctor if you notice any change that concerns you.</li></ul><div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7n9wjuEEwio?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe>  </div> <div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_ek6RydayLY?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe>  <br></div> Moles are common skin growths. Find out how to tell the difference between benign and potentially harmful moles. Main

 

 

Iron deficiency anemia and protein-losing enteropathy related to excessive milk intakeIron deficiency anemia and protein-losing enteropathy related to excessive milk intakeIron deficiency anemia and protein-losing enteropathy related to excessive milk intakeIEnglishNutritionChild (0-12 years)NANAConditions and diseasesAdult (19+) CaregiversNA2019-01-16T05:00:00Z9.0000000000000055.40000000000002219.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Milk can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, drinking too much milk can lead to low levels of iron in the blood and some children can then lose protein from the gut.<br></p><h2>Excessive milk intake</h2><p>The recommended amount of cow’s milk for toddlers is 250 to 500 mL (1–2 cups or 8–16 oz.) per day. Some toddlers drink more milk than the recommended number of servings. This "milk diet" can lead to iron deficiency. A small group of these children also experience protein loss from the digestive system or gut. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia (low red blood cell count) and protein loss leads to hypoalbuminemia (low levels of albumin in the blood). Treatment usually requires limiting milk intake, offering iron rich solid food, and in children with moderate to severe anemia, iron supplements.</p> <p>Breast milk or formula is a good source of iron for the first six months of life. Iron stores in babies naturally decrease by four to six months of age. After six months, the amount of iron in breast milk is not enough, and solid foods are usually introduced.</p><p>When introducing solid foods, infants should start with meat or meat alternatives, in order to get enough iron and protein in their diet. Meat alternatives include fish, egg yolk, tofu, lentils and cheese. Iron-fortified cereals are also a good source of iron that can be started at four to six months of age. Breast milk and/or formula should continue until nine to 12 months of age, when homogenized (3.25%) cow’s milk may be started to complement solid food.</p><h3>Iron deficiency anemia</h3><p>Iron is an important mineral that we get from our diet that is needed to make haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that allows the cells to carry oxygen to the tissues in our body. Anemia occurs when you have low levels of haemoglobin in your body. When the anemia is caused by not having enough iron this is called iron deficiency anemia.</p><p>When a child has anemia, they are not getting enough oxygen delivered to the tissues in their body. This can cause them to look pale and tired, and cause weakness.</p><h3>Protein losing enteropathy</h3> <p>Drinking too much milk can also cause protein loss from the gut (protein losing enteropathy).</p><p>Children with protein losing enteropathy have severe protein loss through the gut and this results in low protein levels in the blood.</p><p>The main protein found in the blood is called albumin. Having low levels of the protein albumin in the blood (hypoalbuminemia) can cause the blood vessels to leak fluid into the tissue. Extra fluid in the tissue can cause swelling (edema) of the legs, back and face. Hypoalbuminemia also puts you at risk for infections.</p><p>Hypoalbuminemia and edema can be caused by other disorders. Your child’s doctor will ask questions about your child’s overall health, symptoms of diarrhea or blood in the stool, and family history of gut, liver, kidney or heart diseases.</p><p>If there are no other causes for protein loss, it is possible that too much milk is the cause.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Too much milk can lead to iron deficiency anemia and protein loss from the gut.</li><li>Milk intake should be limited to a maximum of 500 mL (2 cups or 16 oz.) per day for toddlers and young children.</li><li>The main treatment for iron deficiency and protein loss from the gut due to excess milk intake is to reduce the amount of milk your child drinks and to increase the amount iron rich foods in their diet. For moderate to severe anemia, iron supplements are also needed.</li><li>See a doctor if your child drinks a lot of milk and is tired, weak, pale or has a swollen face, legs and feet.</li> </ul> <h2>Signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia and protein losing enteropathy</h2><p>Symptoms of anemia depend upon its severity, how fast the drop in levels of haemoglobin occurred and its cause. It also depends on how well a child’s body adapts to a low level of haemoglobin.</p><p>Symptoms of anemia include:</p><ul><li>pale skin</li><li>lack of energy</li><li>shortness of breath after exercise or play</li></ul><p>Protein losing enteropathy and hypoalbuminemia causes the blood vessels to leak fluid into surrounding tissue.<br></p><p>Symptoms of protein losing enteropathy and hypoalbuminemia include:</p><ul><li>progressive swelling of the feet, legs and face</li><li>muscle cramps or weakness</li><li>extra fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion)</li><li>swelling of the abdomen (ascites)</li></ul> <h2>Risk factors and prevalence of iron deficiency anemia</h2><p>Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia.</p><p>Around the world, iron deficiency anemia affects approximately 750 million children. In Canada, it is seen in 3.5% to 10.5% of the general population. Children have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia due to their rapid growth, particularly in the first two years of life.</p><p>Children who are most at risk of developing iron deficiency anemia are those who are fed only breast milk or non-iron fortified cow’s milk formulas after six months of age, and those who drink an excess of cow’s milk. Children who are given cow’s milk before 12 months may also be at increased risk of developing iron deficiency anemia because their gut may not be ready to digest cow’s milk yet.</p> <h2>Cause of iron deficiency anemia and protein losing enteropathy</h2><h3>Iron deficiency anemia</h3><p>Iron deficiency anemia from excessive milk intake is caused by three things.</p><ul><li><strong>Not enough iron:</strong> Milk contains very little iron. In addition, if a child drinks too much milk, they will be too full to eat good amounts of iron rich foods.</li><li><strong>Poor iron absorption:</strong> Milk and other dairy products can interfere with the gut’s ability to absorb iron from other sources, such as meat and meat alternatives, and dark green vegetables.</li><li><strong>Microscopic bleeding:</strong> Too much milk can damage the lining of the gut (milk enteropathy). Milk enteropathy causes microscopic bleeding from the gut that you may not be able to see. Any type of bleeding from the body results in a loss of iron. Over time, this bleeding can cause very low levels of haemoglobin, contributing to the iron deficiency anemia.</li></ul><h3>Protein losing enteropathy</h3><p>It is not fully understood how milk intake leads to protein loss in the gut. One theory suggests a process called villous atrophy. The small intestine part of our gut has finger-like projections on its walls called villi. The villi play an important role in the absorption of nutrients. It is believed that an excess intake of cow’s milk can cause the villi to shrink (villous atrophy) and not absorb nutrients well. Villous atrophy causes the bowel walls to become leaky, allowing protein to leak through.</p><h2>Diagnosis of anemia and protein losing enteropathy</h2><h3>Iron deficiency anemia</h3><p>Iron deficiency anemia can be diagnosed by your child’s doctor. They will do a physical exam and ask about your child’s energy levels, general health, diet and family history.</p><p>A blood test, called a complete blood cell count (CBC), can make the diagnosis of anemia by measuring haemoglobin levels. When the anemia is caused by iron deficiency, the red blood cells will also look smaller and lighter in colour when seen under a microscope.</p><p>A ferritin test may also be done. Ferritin is a protein found in the body that stores iron. A low ferritin level can indicate iron-deficiency.</p><p>Additional useful tests that measure the body’s iron are called iron studies.</p><h3>Protein losing enteropathy</h3><p>Protein losing enteropathy and hypoalbuminemia are suspected in children with swelling and low albumin levels in the blood. Your child’s doctor will examine them for swelling of the legs, feet and face. They will also examine your child’s heart, lungs and abdomen for extra fluid.</p><p>A blood test is often done to check the blood albumin level. A urine test may also be done to make sure there is no protein loss from the kidneys. When the cause of low albumin is not clear, further tests may be done including stool tests. One of the stool tests that may be performed is a 24-hour collection of stool to check for a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin. By comparing the amount of this protein in the stool to the amount in the blood, doctors can tell whether there is protein loss through the gut.</p> <h2>Treatment of iron deficiency</h2><h3>Diet</h3><p>Limiting milk intake to a maximum of 16 ounces per day is usually the only treatment needed. The iron levels will gradually rise and protein loss from the gut will decrease.</p><p>Iron rich foods can also help to treat iron deficiency. Many iron rich foods, such as meat and meat alternatives, are also high in protein. Offer your child foods such as meat and meat alternatives, and iron-fortified cereals a few times each day. From one year of age, young children should begin to have a regular schedule of meals and snacks. In general, you may follow the advice in <a href="https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/">Canada’s Food Guide</a>.</p><p>Limiting milk does not mean stopping it completely. It is known that milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D. From one to two years of age, children should drink 250 to 500 mL (1–2 cups or 8–16 oz.) of homogenized (3.25% M.F.) cow’s milk per day. They should not drink more than 500 mL (2 cups or 16 oz.) per day.</p> <h3>Iron supplement</h3><p>Your child’s doctor might also prescribe iron supplements. After a few weeks, values such as the haemoglobin level generally start to improve. Treatment is usually continued for at least three months to fully replenish iron stores in the body.</p><p>Iron supplementation can cause an upset stomach. Your doctor might divide the dose in half and ask you to give it two times per day instead of as one large daily dose.</p><p>Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) can have a negative effect on the absorption of iron. Try to give iron supplements two hours before or after eating or drinking any dairy products.</p><p>Vitamin C can help iron absorption from foods. Oranges and other citrus fruit are good sources of vitamin C. Be careful with offering too much juice, as it is high in sugar.</p><p>Protein losing enteropathy and hypoalbuminemia caused by too much milk gets better fairly quickly when the milk intake is limited to an appropriate amount.</p><h2>Complications of anemia and hypoalbuminemia</h2><p>Untreated anemia in children can have serious effects on a child’s growth. Untreated anemia can affect intellectual ability and overall development. This can lead to problems with attention, reading ability and school performance. In rare cases, extreme anemia can cause a stroke.</p><p>Hypoalbuminemia can also have serious effects on a child’s growth. Excess fluid around the lungs can cause problems with breathing. In rare cases, excess fluid can build up around the heart making it harder for the heart to pump. Protein loss in the gut can also cause a loss of the proteins needed to fight infection and prevent clots, putting children at risk of severe infections or blood clots.</p> <h2>Helping your child</h2><p>Limiting milk intake can be challenging. Many toddlers enjoy drinking milk in a bottle, and associate drinking milk with their bedtime ritual.</p><p>Here are some tips on how to help limit your child’s milk intake:</p><ul><li>If your child drinks more than 1200 mL (5 cups or 40 oz.) of milk per day, wean them slowly to smaller amounts. Cut the amount by half to start.</li><li>Offer solid foods first and only offer milk at the end of the meal. Alternatively, you could offer water with meals and milk only a couple of times a day with a snack. This way your child will not fill up on milk first.</li><li>Switch to a sippy cup early. This will prevent your child from taking the milk to bed and associating drinking milk with falling asleep.</li><li>Do not allow your child to sleep with a bottle of milk in bed. If you are having trouble with this then slowly start to dilute the milk with water until you are offering just water. This will also help in avoiding dental caries.</li> </ul> <h2>Follow-up</h2><p>Iron supplementation should be continued for at least three to six months to replenish the amount of iron that is stored in the body.</p><p>After starting treatment, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment. A repeat blood test is not always needed if your child’s symptoms improve with iron treatment and changes in diet.</p> <h2>​Virtual care services for children<br></h2><p>Boomerang Health was opened by SickKids to provide communities in Ontario with greater access to community-based services for children and adolescents. For more information on virtual care services in Ontario to support anemia, visit <a href="http://www.boomeranghealth.com/services/nutrition/">Boomerang Health</a> powered by SickKids.<br></p><h2>References</h2><ol><li>Abdullah, K., Zlotkin, S., Parkin, P. & Grenier, D. Iron-deficiency Anemia in Children. Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program, resource article, 2011 (Accessed December 3, 2017).</li><li>Allen, R.E. & Myers, A.L. Nutrition in Toddlers. American Family Physician. 2006; 74(9): 1526-1532.</li><li>Bondi, S.A. & Lieuw, K. Excessive Cow’s Milk Consumption and Iron Deficiency in Toddlers: Two Unusual Presentations and Review. Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition. 2009; 1(3). DOI: 10.1177/1941406409335481.</li><li>Critch, J.N. Nutrition for healthy term infants, six to 24 months: An overview. Paediatric Child Health. 2014; 19(10): 547-549.</li><li>Food Sources of Iron. Dietitians of Canada. (Accessed December 3, 2017).</li><li>Grueger, B. Weaning from the Breast. Paediatric Child Health 2013; 18(4): 210.</li><li>Kazal, L.A. Prevention of Iron Deficiency in Infants and Toddlers. American Family Physician. 2002; 66(7): 1217-1224.</li><li>Rabinowitz, S. & Ebigbo, N. Pediatric Protein-Losing Enteropathy. Medscape, Pediatrics; General Medicine, 2017 < https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/931647-overview> (Accessed December 3, 2017).</li></ol> https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Drinks_for_your_toddler_or_preschooler.jpgExcessive milk intake Milk is part of a healthy diet. But too much milk can lead to low levels of iron in the blood and some children can lose protein from the gut. Main
Nutrition and mental health: Developing positive eating habitsNutrition and mental health: Developing positive eating habitsNutrition and mental health: Developing positive eating habitsNEnglishNutrition;Psychiatry;AdolescentTeen (13-18 years)BodyNAHealthy living and preventionTeen (13-18 years)NA2019-03-22T04:00:00Z10.000000000000061.0000000000000453.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Developing positive eating habits can be difficult. Find out some things you can do every day to work toward having a healthy attitude toward food.</p><h2>Plan and prepare meals</h2><p>Get involved in planning, shopping and preparing family meals. Doing so will help you learn to shop smartly, understand food labels and develop your skills in the kitchen. You may even enjoy sharing some of your favourite recipes with friends and family.</p><p>If you find yourself always rushing out the door to school or work, try preparing a breakfast wrap or some yogurt and fruit the night before. Breakfast is an important meal that will set you up for the day ahead!</p><h2>Eat as a family</h2><p>Busy schedules and after-school activities can make it hard to sit down to eat with your family every night. But sharing a meal with those closest to you even a few times a week without any distractions is a great way to strengthen family bonds, have fun and, if needed, share support after a tough day. These all help to boost self-confidence and communication skills, help improve how you perform at school and lower the incidence of weight issues and substance use disorders.</p><h2>Develop a healthy body image </h2><p>Like many teens, you probably see a constant stream of images and messages about physical appearance. With such highly promoted but narrow standards of beauty and fitness, it is hard to escape the idea that you should look a certain way. </p><p>When you feel overwhelmed by pressure to conform to an ideal body type, try to remember all the great things your body can do instead of simply how it looks. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder can take root when someone feels badly about themselves and their appearance. Be sure to share any concerns about your body image with a parent, caregiver or another trusted adult. </p><h2>Keep a healthy attitude to food</h2><p>While most of your diet should be <a href="/Article?contentid=3773&language=English">rich in nutrients</a>, it is also ok to have some treats now and then. Rather than latching onto the latest fad diet or banning particular foods (unless you have an allergy):</p><ul><li>focus on eating the right amount of calories for your stage of growth and level of physical activity</li><li>consider eating more of one thing and less of another (for instance, more fruit and less juice or more grilled food and less fried)</li><li>consume a variety of foods, from all food groups, to help your brain and body work as well as possible</li></ul><p>The less control you feel you need to exert over food, the healthier your attitude towards it. That said, if you have any concerns about eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight for you and your needs, talk to a healthcare provider, your doctor or a dietitian.</p><h2>Resources</h2><p> <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins">Harvard Health Publishing - Listing of vitamins</a></p><p> <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/food-and-mood/#.XJU1eBNKiWZ">Mind (UK) - Food and mood</a><br></p><p><a href="https://meant2preventkitchen.ca/">Meant2Prevent: Kitchen</a></p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/developing_positive_eating_habits.jpgDeveloping positive eating habits Developing positive eating habits can be difficult. Find out what your teen can do every day to develop a healthy attitude toward food. Teens
Tree nut allergyTree nut allergyTree nut allergyTEnglishAllergyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyImmune systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2021-03-08T05:00:00Z8.7000000000000060.70000000000001231.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Find out how to help your child manage an allergy to tree nuts such as almonds, pecans, cashews or hazelnuts. </p><h2>What is a tree nut allergy?</h2><p>A tree nut allergy occurs when the body reacts to the proteins in one or more tree nuts.</p><p>The tree nuts considered as allergens are almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. Peanuts are treated as a separate allergen because they are part of the legume family and grow underground.</p> ​ <h2>How serious is a tree nut allergy?</h2><p>Tree nut allergy reactions are different for each child, but they usually happen soon after exposure to tree nuts. A tree nut allergy carries the risk of <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=781&language=English">anaphylaxis</a>, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction. Some children are so sensitive to tree nuts that inhaling a small amount of nut protein can trigger a reaction.</p><h2>Tree nut and peanut allergies</h2><p>Some children who have tree nut allergies also have <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=809&language=English">peanut allergies</a>. Peanuts are not tree nuts; they are actually legumes (like peas and lentils), but the proteins in peanuts are similar to the ones in tree nuts. This is why some children are allergic to both.</p><h2>Other names for tree nuts</h2><p>Tree nuts can have other names in ingredient lists. Learning these names can help you catch any hidden sources of tree nuts in food.</p><p>When buying packaged foods, always check the list of ingredients in the store and again when you bring the product home. It is also a good idea to check the ingredients every time you buy the food in case the recipe has changed. You can also call the manufacturer to ask about any recipe changes.</p><p>The following table lists the range of names for tree nuts. Use it when you are grocery shopping or calling food manufacturers.</p><table class="akh-table"><tbody><tr><td>Almonds</td><td>Anacardium nuts</td></tr><tr><td>Brazil nuts</td><td>​Cashews</td></tr><tr><td>Hazelnuts (filberts)</td><td>Macadamia nuts</td></tr><tr><td>Pecans</td><td>​Pinon</td></tr><tr><td>Pistachios</td><td>Walnuts</td></tr></tbody></table><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans. Peanuts are treated as a separate allergen. </li><li>A tree nut allergy can be severe and life-long. Even if your child is allergic to only one type of tree nut, they may need to avoid all others due to the risk of cross-contamination. </li><li>Many different products contain tree nuts, including baked goods, curries, egg rolls, cereals, crackers, dressings and nut butters.</li><li>To prevent an allergic reaction, always read food product labels, avoid foods if you are not sure of the ingredients and avoid using utensils or containers that might have come in contact with tree nuts. </li><li>If your child's diet is limited because of a tree nut allergy, a registered dietitian can offer advice on getting a balanced diet. </li></ul><h2>Possible sources of tree nuts</h2> <p>Tree nuts are used in a range of dishes, packaged foods and snacks. Below is a list of some of the many food products that can contain tree nuts. </p> <table class="akh-table"> <tbody> <tr> <td>African, Chinese, Indonesian, Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese dishes, for example curries, egg rolls or satays</td> <td>Artificial nuts (peanuts that have been altered to look and taste like almonds, pecans and walnuts), also known as mandelona or Nu-Nuts</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Baked goods and mixes</td> <td>Cereals and muesli</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chocolate</td> <td>Crackers</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Desserts (for example baklava)</td> <td>Dressings, sauces, gravy</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Marzipan (almond paste)</td> <td>Natural flavourings and extracts (such as pure almond extract)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nut butter, meats and pastes</td> <td>Nut oil, peanut oil</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tempeh</td> <td>Til</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Snack foods, such as beer nuts</td> <td>Spreads (for example cheese or hazelnut spreads)</td> </tr> </tbody> </table><h2>What do I do if my child has a tree nut allergy?</h2><p>Your child should see an allergist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating allergies) who can discuss the tree nut allergy with you in more detail. Children who have a tree nut allergy usually should avoid all products that may contain tree nuts.</p><p>Your child’s doctor will also prescribe a medication called an epinephrine auto-injector, which can be used to treat allergic reactions, in case your child accidentally eats a food containing tree nuts.</p><h2>If my child has an allergy to one type of tree nut, must they avoid all tree nuts?</h2><p>If your child is allergic to one type of tree nut, their allergist may recommend that they avoid all tree nuts. In some cases, your child’s allergist may advise your child to only avoid specific tree nuts; however, you should be aware of the risk of cross-contamination (see below). Your child does not need to avoid peanuts unless your child has had an allergic reaction peanuts or they have been advised to do so by their allergist.</p><h2>Can my child eat coconut and nutmeg?</h2><p>Coconut is the seed of a fruit and nutmeg comes from the seeds of a tropical tree. A child who is allergic to tree nuts can usually still eat these foods.</p><h2>Reducing the risk of cross-contamination</h2><p>Cross-contamination occurs when one substance unintentionally comes in contact with another substance, for example a potential allergen. If the substances mix together, one substance taints the other substance, making it unsafe to eat.</p><p>Food allergens can contaminate other foods when, for example, the same containers, utensils or frying pans hold a range of foods.</p><p>Bulk food containers pose a high risk of cross-contamination because they are often used for different products.</p><p>Be sure to avoid using utensils or containers that may have come in contact with allergy-causing foods and ask about possible cross-contamination when eating out.</p><h2>How can my child get the right mix of nutrients if they must avoid tree nuts?</h2><p>The main nutrients in tree nuts include <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1444&language=English">protein</a>, omega-3 fats, dietary fibre, <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1451&language=English">magnesium</a>, phosphorus, potassium, <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=1449&language=English">folate</a> and vitamin E. Your child can still get these nutrients even if they must avoid tree nuts.</p><h3>Nutrients in tree nuts that are also in other foods</h3><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th>Nutrient</th><th>Where to find it</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Protein</td><td>Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, milk, beans, soy</td></tr><tr><td>Omega-3</td><td>Flaxseed oil, edamame (soybeans), radish seeds, omega-3 eggs fortified with DHA</td></tr><tr><td>Fibre</td><td>Vegetables, fruit, whole grains</td></tr><tr><td>Magnesium</td><td>Wheat germ, peas, pumpkin, squash or sesame seeds</td></tr><tr><td>Phosphorus</td><td>Wheat germ, rice bran, wheat bran, cheese, beans, sardines, tempeh</td></tr><tr><td>Potassium</td><td>Bananas, papaya, sweet potato, leafy green vegetables, milk, yogurt, beans (navy, pinto, black beans), lentils, chickpeas, beef, pork, fish</td></tr><tr><td>Folate</td><td>Leafy green vegetables, beans (navy, pinto, kidney, garbanzo), lentils</td></tr><tr><td>Vitamin E</td><td>Spinach, red pepper, Swiss chard, wheat germ cereal, egg, almonds, sunflower seeds</td></tr></tbody></table><h2>When to go to the emergency room</h2><p>If your child is having a severe allergic reaction to tree nuts, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department immediately. If your child’s doctor prescribed them an epinephrine autoinjector, administer this medication to your child right away. See <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=781&language=English">Anaphylaxis: How to recognize and respond to a severe allergic reaction</a> for more information.</p><h2>When to see a dietitian for a tree nut allergy</h2><p>If you have removed many foods from your child's diet because of a tree nut allergy, it may be a good idea to speak to a registered dietitian. The dietitian can review the foods your child still eats to decide if they are getting enough nutrients. If necessary, they can also recommend alternative foods that your child can eat safely.</p><h2>Will my child always have a tree nut allergy?</h2><p>Yes, like a <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=809&language=English">peanut allergy</a>, tree nut allergies are likely to be life-long.</p><h2>​​Further information</h2> <p>​Health Canada. <a href="http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/pdf/pubs/securit/tree_nuts-noix-eng.pdf" target="_blank">Tree nuts – One of the ten priority food allergens</a></p><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/tree_nut_allergy.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/tree_nut_allergy.jpgMain
What causes seizures?What causes seizures?What causes seizures?WEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+) EducatorsNA2021-03-17T04:00:00Z9.8000000000000052.10000000000001919.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Learn about what causes seizures, the different types of seizures and what the concept of the seizure threshold means. </p><h2>What happens during a seizure?</h2><p>Electrical activity in the brain is carefully balanced. Neurons (brain cells) fire singly or in small groups to accomplish a task (excitation) and then stop firing (inhibition). A seizure happens if many neurons fire at once in uncontrolled bursts. This firing interferes with how the brain normally functions:</p><ul><li>Neuron excitation and inhibition become unbalanced; either there is too much excitation, or too little inhibition.</li><li>A small group of neurons begin to fire together.</li><li>Other neurons nearby or throughout the brain also start firing together because of abnormal connections between neurons or groups of neurons — this firing is called hyper-synchrony.</li><li>The neurons involved in the seizure send instructions to the parts of the body that they control which may result in movements, sounds or change in level of consciousness.</li></ul><h2>Provoked and unprovoked seizures</h2><p>Seizures may be provoked or unprovoked.</p><ul><li>Provoked seizures are the direct, immediate result of a cause such as a head injury, infection, drugs, changes in concentration of electrolytes, such as salt or calcium, in the blood, <a href="/article?contentid=1726&language=english">low blood sugar</a> or withdrawal from medication. Anybody can have a single seizure under these conditions. Provoked seizures are less likely to happen again and are not considered to be epilepsy.</li><li>When a seizure is not provoked by an immediate cause such as the ones described above, it is called an unprovoked seizure. If a child has two or more unprovoked seizures, or a single unprovoked seizure and a high risk of further seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy.</li></ul><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>A provoked seizure has a direct cause such as a head injury, an infection or low blood sugar.</li><li>An unprovoked seizure does not have an immediate cause. A child must have two or more unprovoked seizures before epilepsy will be considered or have one seizure and an underlying condition with a high risk of more seizures.</li><li>A seizure threshold is a person's likelihood to have a seizure. The higher the threshold, the less likely it is that a seizure will happen.</li><li>Factors that raise a seizure threshold include getting enough sleep every night and taking anti-epileptic drugs according to instructions.</li></ul><h2>Causes of epilepsy</h2><p>There are many different causes of epilepsy. There are tests available to look for the cause. However, in 60–70% of cases, no apparent cause can be identified.</p><p>The cause of epilepsy can be classified into six categories: </p><ol><li>Structural: There is an abnormality in the brain tissue, including previous injury to the brain from trauma, car accident or stroke that makes the brain more likely to have seizures.</li><li>Genetic: Some types of epilepsy run in families. In these cases, it is passed on from parent to child. Other times, a child has a new change in genes (mutation) that has only occurred in them and there is no family history. There are some types of epilepsy that have been linked to specific genes.</li><li>Infectious diseases: Infections such as meningitis or encephalitis affect the brain and can cause seizures and epilepsy.</li><li>Metabolic disease: The brain cells use energy in a way that makes them more likely to create abnormal electrical activity.</li><li>Unknown: The cause of epilepsy is not yet known.</li><h2>Seizure threshold</h2><p>The seizure threshold is not a specific measurement. It is a way of thinking about the balance between excitation and inhibition in the brain cells or neurons.</p><p><em>Sarah’s seizures are well controlled on anti-epileptic drugs. She has an important test tomorrow. She stays up three hours later than usual to study, and then takes her medication when she goes to bed. The next day, she has a seizure at breakfast. </em></p><p>Under normal circumstances, Sarah would not have had a seizure because her medication and her regular sleep schedule keep her seizure threshold high. The combination of taking her medication late and losing three hours of sleep lowered her seizure threshold just enough to trigger a seizure.</p><p>Some factors can lower the seizure threshold of a person with epilepsy.</p><ul><li>Missing medication doses: This is the most common trigger.</li><li>Lack of sleep: Children with epilepsy are encouraged to maintain a regular sleep pattern and avoid late nights. If your child has a medical condition that causes sleep loss, such as sleep apnea, treatment should be sought for this condition to decrease the risk of breakthrough seizures.</li><li>Illness: Fever, vomiting and diarrhea can lower the seizure threshold. </li><li>Alcohol and drugs: Too much alcohol or certain drugs (e.g., cocaine, ecstasy) can trigger seizures. Over-the-counter or herbal medicines may also trigger seizures. Always check with your medical team when starting your child on a new medication or supplement to determine whether it will affect their seizures.</li><li>Hormones: For some women, changes in menstrual cycle can reduce seizure threshold. Their neurologist can propose changes to help with this trigger.</li><li>Stress: Stress and anxiety, common in adolescents, are reported as seizure triggers. Participating in support groups can decrease stress and anxiety.</li><li>Sensory input: Some children have triggers that include flashing lights, doing puzzles and soaking in hot water.</li></ul><p>While one of these things by itself might not be enough to cause a seizure, a combination of them may lower the seizure threshold enough to cause a seizure.</p><p>There are many things your child can do to help control seizures:</p><ul><li>Avoid triggers.</li><li>Get enough sleep every night.</li><li>Take prescribed medications regularly.</li><li>Keep a medication reminder chart or other alerts to help with remembering to take medications.</li></ul><p>Many children do not have seizure triggers. Try to keep precise records and include details of what occurred before the seizure to identify a pattern and trigger. One way to do this is by keeping a seizure diary or using a seizure diary application on your phone or another device. Identifying common triggers and avoiding them can improve your child’s quality of life, as well as your own. </p></ol><h2>Do seizures damage the brain?</h2><p>A great deal of epilepsy research in humans and animals has focused on the question of whether seizures cause brain damage. Because there are so many different factors, including the specific epilepsy syndrome, other health conditions, the age of the child, the age at which epilepsy began, the treatment regimen and the child’s particular characteristics, this is a difficult question to answer.</p><p>It is not clear whether single seizures can cause brain damage or if it is the cumulative effect of many seizures that cause damage.</p><p>We know that:</p><ul><li>While children who have multiple seizures over a long period of time are at risk for long-term effects, children who have only one or a few brief seizures in their lives do not usually have long-term consequences.</li><li>In animal studies, seizures lasting more than 30 minutes and frequent, recurrent seizures appear to cause some brain cell death and may affect learning and memory. We don’t yet know how these animal studies translate to children.</li><li>If the child’s epilepsy is caused by underlying abnormalities of the brain, this abnormality may also cause learning and behaviour problems.</li></ul><p>Most children with epilepsy do not have developmental disabilities. They have as wide of a range of cognitive abilities as other children, ranging from very intelligent to below average.<br></p><h2>Can my child die from a seizure?</h2><p>It is uncommon for a child to die from a seizure. However, people with epilepsy, particularly those who have other neurological disorders, do have a higher risk of death than people without epilepsy. The risks vary widely and depend on the individual child.</p><p>There is a higher risk of death if:</p><ul><li>The child has a significant underlying neurological disorder. For example, children with severe cerebral palsy may also have problems with swallowing. The difficulty swallowing makes it more likely for them to choke on food, fluids or secretions, and then develop pneumonia, an infection of the lungs. This can lead to complications with breathing that result in death.</li><li>The child has status epilepticus, defined as a seizure lasting longer than 30 minutes; however, status epilepticus is less likely to cause death in children than in adults.</li><li>The child is injured during a seizure, for instance through head injuries, drowning, burns or suffocation.</li></ul><p>In the absence of these factors, the risks to the child are very low. Most of the time, death is related to the underlying cause of the epilepsy. If a child is otherwise in good health, their risk of death is small. Talk to your child's doctor about their specific situation.</p><h2>SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy)</h2><p>SUDEP is defined as death for no obvious reason in a person with epilepsy. These deaths occur most often suddenly at nighttime. SUDEP does not always involve a recent seizure. In some cases, there is no evidence that a recent seizure has occurred.</p><p>SUDEP affects one in 1,000 people with epilepsy each year. The rates of SUDEP are about the same in adults and children; however, rates are higher in adults and children with seizures that are not well controlled by medication. </p><p>The most well-proven risk factors for SUDEP is frequent seizures, especially a type of seizure called generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Having even a few of these types of seizures each year increases SUDEP risk. SUDEP is also more common in people who have a neurological problem of which epilepsy is one of the symptoms and those with difficulty following their anti-seizure medication regimen (such as skipping doses).</p><p>More information about SUDEP and support for families who have been affected is available from <a href="https://www.sudep.news/">SUDEP Aware</a> and the <a href="https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/our-programs/about-sudep-institute">SUDEP Institute</a>.</p><h2>Reducing the risk of epilepsy</h2><p>It is important to do everything possible to reduce seizures. If medication does not control seizures, children with epilepsy should be referred to an epilepsy specialist to determine if other treatments, such as a special diet or surgery, could help to control seizures.</p><h3>Injury prevention</h3><p>Children with epilepsy are more likely to have an injury. Make sure that your child takes reasonable safety precautions. </p><p>Drowning is about 10 times more common in people with epilepsy than those without epilepsy, so extra safety is required around water. Like all children, children with epilepsy should never swim or have baths alone. They are encouraged to have showers and keep the bathroom door open in case they have a seizure.</p><p>Injuries can also occur during a seizure. Like all children, those with epilepsy should wear a helmet when doing activities like bicycling, skateboarding, in-line skating or horseback riding.</p><p>Extra precautions need to be taken around fires and while cooking.</p><p>Make sure that babysitters, teachers and coaches know what to do if your child has a seizure.</p><h2>SUDEP prevention</h2><p>The best way to prevent SUDEP is to work with your doctor to prevent seizures, especially a type of seizure known as generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Taking medications as directed and identifying and avoiding seizure triggers are the best ways to reduce seizures. If your child has seizures at night or from sleep, it is important to be aware of any seizures that occur at night and check on your child during and following a seizure. Some families may choose to use a listening device (such as a baby monitor) to help adults in the home to be aware if the child has a seizure overnight. </p><h2>Resources</h2><p><a href="https://ontarioepilepsyguidelines.ca/">Ontario Epilepsy Guidelines</a> — Find recommendations to improve the quality and consistency of care for people living with epilepsy. These may be helpful in advocating for care for your child with epilepsy.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/epilepsy_an_overview.jpgMain

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