HIVES Breakout in My 3 Year Old Son - 3Rd Time in 3 MOS ?? What Is Causing This?

Updated on December 25, 2010
T.A. asks from Piedmont, OK
10 answers

HI, My son is almost 3 and out of the blue he has broke out in hives, once in FEB, once in MARCH, and now again last night, so 3 times, I cannot figure out what is causing this and it is freeking me out!! I took him to DR and he just says sometime you dont know the cause and if it goes away after a week w/no benadryl /or Zyrtec to come back - well, it went away fast the first time, the second time came back was really bad - swelling so bad and had to take him in to DOC right away - they again told me it was an allergic i figured it could have been some bird seed he played in both times (safflower seed)...but was still unsure and took him to an allergist which said wait 8 weeks since hives can come and go - well, its been 3 mos since the first round of them and now they show up again last night...gave him zyrtec and its totally gone until it wears off - which is at night time - now he is getting the bumps all over - that is how it starts, so in the morning I am expecting to see a big red patchyness all over his body -- so disturbing...anyone have this happen to them or ever figure out what to do for it or how to figure out what is causing this ??

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

You said that he was playing with some bird seed..are there pet birds in the house? I am very allergic to birds, it can be bad! Anyway thats my first thought. Also, only use free and clear detergent and no fabric softener or dryer sheets on his clothing, it could be that also.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Fayetteville on

Have you started using hand sanitizer or changed brands. I work as a nanny and the school called for one of the children to be picked up because she had broken out in hives all of a sudden and they could no figure out why. The mother could not get to the school so I went to get her, I talked to the nurse to find out what they had checked so I did not do the same thing and we left.

As I was putting her into the car I noticed she smelled different than normal and when I questioned her I found out that she had used another little girls hand sanitizer on her face and arms. I took her home gave her Benadryl and had her take a shower and it cleared up.

When we told the school what we had discovered they were stunned. It seems it has become common practice for little girls to carry sanitizer around due to germ phobia which is why we are creating super bugs. I know that the sanitizer was also on the list that we received for items wanted by teachers for their classrooms so you might check on this.

We don't use sanitizer at any of the homes I work at just baby wipes so this was new to us.



answers from Huntsville on

Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to figure out what we are allergic to. We can be allergic to things from food to plants to just being cold (cold urticaria). From the time I was six until last year (I'll be 26 next month), I would wake up in the morning with hives. It wouldn't completely go away for several days. Sometimes I would wake up the next morning with the hives in different places than the day before. It would get pretty severe when I was younger, but wasn't as bad as I got into college.

The doctors didn't do much when I was younger, just told Mom to give me Benadryl, which would then put me to sleep. Made the hives go away, but I had to take Benadryl every day/night to keep them away for several days. When they made Zyrtec, I would take that. The last time I broke out a year ago, I took Zyrtec one morning. No effect. Took it again that night (about 12 hours later). No effect. Took it yet again another 12 hours later, still no effect! (FYI - taking 3 Zyrtec within 24 hours NOT recommended!!!) I went to my allergist & all she could do was write me a prescription for a couple other things & said to take it if I broke out again (by the time I got to see her, it was already wearing off). Funny thing is I haven't broken out since!

I've never found out what caused my hives. Even after allergy testing. For a while I thought I had cold urticaria. But the test for that is to hold an ice cube on your arm for 5 mins. Nothing happened. But somehow keeping myself warm would help the hives go away.

I hope you have figure out what your son is allergic to, but be warned, you may never know!



answers from Dallas on

My son suffered from chronic hives around the same age. The body gets quicker and stronger at releasing the histamine response. We kept a diary, did testing, never did find out what if anything was truly a allergic reaction.

For my son it appeared to be sensory. Heat, cold, even sounds. we suspressed the histamine response with daily use of zyrtec for a couple of year(daily).

I would recomend talking to allergist. But you need to keep anithistamine in him for some time after symptoms disapear.

This article explains it pretty well.

And good luck I know how frustrating it can be. I am happy to say that for several years now(he is 11) we have not had a full on putbreak of hives. He can tell when it might occur and we make sure he gets is meds in beforehand.



answers from Portland on

Since the hives come back overnight after having been gone before he goes to bed I'd guess he's allergic to his bedding, clothes, or something in the room. As Katie suggested wash everything in a hypoallergenic detergent without any fabric softener. It will take time to completely eliminate the detergent and fabric softener build up and so you'll need to wait to see if this helps.

Why didn't the allergist do testing? It's true that if it's the detergent they can't tell from a test but food allergies can also cause hives, as can grasses, pollen, chemicals.

Since the hives go away with the Zyrtec and then come back he is still or once more exposed to the allergens. IF he were allergic to the bird seed, you removed the bird seed and anything that has touched the bird seed and have given him Zyrtec and the hives go away but then he gets them again during the night it is probably not the bird seed. However if he has contact with any small dust from the bird seed during the night it might be the bird seed. Did you give him a bath after he played with the bird seed?

It is complicated figuring out allergies. To completely eliminate the possibility that it's the bird seed you ;need to completely remove the seed from the house and clean anywhere that the seed has been so that you're also removing fine dust left behind.

Give him zyrtec immediately when you first notice the hives. It would be a good idea to look in on him during the night. The reason the hives stay longer each time he gets them is that his body is becoming more sensitive to the allergen. If at any time he has difficulty breathing immediately take him to the emergency room. I say this because you say you're expecting big red patchiness in the morning. I had an allergy to bee stings that in one day went from hives to a swollen face and difficulty breathing. ( I was bitten several times.) The hives break out in the airway. I'm not suggesting that this will happen to your son but it's a possibility that you should know about.

I suggest that you write down everything that he has touched, eaten, or been in the area of just before the hives broke out. Over time you'll see a pattern.

My granddaughter has had allergies with asthma and eczema since she was a baby. She outgrew many of them. She has taken both Benedryl and Zyrtec. Her allergist changed her to Zyrtec because it acts in more ways than Benedryl. Also it lasts for 12 hours and I don't think Benedryl does. Zyrtec has not had a negative affect on her personality. Every body has it's own way of reacting. If you haven't had difficulty using the Zyrtec it is the best long term treatment.



answers from Montgomery on

I would be careful with this one. If you are narrowing your search down to times he has played in birdseed and think that it could be something in that causing the reaction, you may be right. If you are correct I would proceed with caution. Actually, it's a good idea to be cautious when looking for all allergic reaction causes. My first thought when I was reading your post was possibly he developed a reaction to laundry detergent, or a soap or something similar. A hand sanitizer or lotion. Laundry detergents are the fall guy a lot because when we have eliminated everything else, we still wash all of our clothes in that. Sheets, towels, clothes, everything. SO check there first. Could be the same detergent you have always used and now he has developed an allergy to it. It could be the company took your same detergent and "upgraded" it. Could be the flame retardant chemical on children's pajamas. LOTS of things to go through here. However, if you do get into the area where now you are really pinpointing the bird seed. Please I urge you to be very cautious with this one. I have a nut allergy. It is an allergy to TREE NUTS. Not peanuts. Peanut butter, peanuts, all that is great, but give me a pecan and I'm a goner. Along with this allergy I have a latex allergy. (My diagnosing allergist said that these two go hand-in- hand.) My allergies are severe. I keep 2 prescribed epi-pens at all times. I have an anaphylactic reaction to exposure to tree nuts and latex. The thing with the tree nuts. These allergies can be very bad, and they can morph quickly. Going from never being allergic to them, to one day being so allergic that your airway is compromised by swelling from being eating a walnut. Much of the bird seed that your son may be playing with could have been processed or "rolled" with a variety of nuts or nut products. Check the package and start watching other small reactions. You may not notice unless you are really looking for something. Maybe when he eats Honey bunches of oats with almonds his throat is itchy, or he just won't eat it. (That may not be the best example because most foods aren't as out there on the front of the box if they contain nut products or have been processed with nuts, you usually have to read the real tiny fine print on the back.) Either way, it could give you a place to start. The elimination diet with little ones is tough. Heck, it's tough for adults. And from what you were describing it doesn't sound too systemic. Sounds more topical and like something he is coming in contact with. Best of luck.



answers from Tulsa on

Wish I could help, but I can't. I did want to let you know that my sister-in-law, who is now 13, has been having hives off and on for the last 5-6 years. She has been to allergists and no one has been able to figure it out. Hopefully this is not what's going on with your son. She takes strong antihistamines when she breaks out, but otherwise manages ok. It's hard on her though.



answers from Oklahoma City on

My son right after he turned 3 years old started breaking out in hives. He had, I believe it was 4 outbreaks over a 3 month period. I started keeping a journal of everything. I wrote down everything he ate, anything different like new clothes, new soaps, went to the park that day, etc, etc.... I kept track of everything for several weeks. He had one outbreak during that time, I couldn't figure out what had caused it and then he hasn't had another one since. That was about a year ago. I definitely know he has allergies, now that spring is here again he's been sneezing, itchy, etc but no hives. Who knows what caused it, and maybe he'll have them again. But for now he's good and though hives can look scary, its not really dangerous unless he starts swelling on the inside.
My daughter who is now 18 months had a severe reaction to amoxicillin. That was the scariest thing ever...she broke out in hives from head to toe, at the worse it was like she was just one big red, swollen hive. VERY scary. And Benadryl, etc did nothing for her.
I hope you either figure out what is causing your son's or even better, they just go away! I know it can seem scary, but don't worry too much and try to keep track of things, maybe you can figure it out! Good luck!!!!



answers from Boston on

i dont know what it is, but i have the same promblem and i cant firgure it out.. mine is bad sometimes that i can't breathe but idk what it is.



answers from New York on

my daughter used to get these unexplained hives. they were huge with purple borders. we never found out what's causing them but she was 2 when they started. i always had benadryl handy. would give her benadryl and they'd go away only to show up weeks later. she got them in her arms, legs, buttocks. they went awaya s she matured (i think age 4 or close to 5). anyways, at one point the doctor said could be pollen. we had her tested at the allergist but that test came back positive only for dust mites, not pollen. the allergist said well she may not be allergic to pollen but she may react to pollen.
does that make sense to you? not me. but she outgrew that stage. so my recommendation is not to freak out too much (if you can). have benadryl handy. personally i hate zyrtec. changes child's personality. my same daughter was put on zyrtec for about 6 months due to 'ydust mite allergies" but she was miserable. my once happy child was grumpy, and dazed, so i stopped giving it to her. within weeks she was back to her normal self. so benadryl all the way
good luck

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions