Is It Safe to Take Antihistamine for Kids?

Are Antihistamines Safe for Kids?

If your child suffers from watery eyes, running nose or has itchy skin, there is a strong likelihood that he may be suffering from some kind of allergy. In most cases, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines to help relieve the symptoms of allergy.  Are you interested in knowing more about antihistamines, their types and how they work to? You should browse through this article.

What is Antihistamine?

When a kid suffers from any kind of allergic reaction, his body secretes a chemical, known as histamine. This chemical generation in the body may lead to itchy skin, stuffy nose or watery eyes. Antihistamine is the medicine that is used to cure these symptoms of allergy. These allergic medicines can be easily procured from any pharmacist. They are available in the form of  tablet, syrup, sprays or in an ointment form. There are many renowned medicine brands that make antihistamine just for kids. Sometimes antihistamines may be used to cure symptoms of vomiting and nausea too.

Should You Give Antihistamines to Your Child?

If your child has any allergic reaction or allergies, then he may be prescribed anti-allergic medicines such as antihistamines. Though these medicines help in treating the symptoms of allergies such as hay fever, however, many of these medicines may not be safe your kid. It is because of the increased risk of side-effects and the limited study available on these medicines; first-generation antihistamines are sparingly administered to the kids. On the other hand, new-generation antihistamines have studies indicating the probable side-effects that these may cause on children; hence these may be a safer option in comparison to the first-generation antihistamine. However, refrain from self-medicating your child or giving these medicines without consulting your paediatrician.

Antihistamine tablets

Types of Antihistamine

Antihistamines are further categorised into two categories. We shall be discussing both these categories in the following two sections.

1. Sedatives (First-Generation Antihistamines)

The first-generation antihistamines are very quick in relieving the symptoms of allergy. However, these are sedatives, which mean these may cause sleepiness or drowsiness. In the following table, we shall be discussing various kinds of sedative or first-generation antihistamines.

Ingredients Format Commonly Used For Safe for Children
Antazoline-Tetryzoline Eye drops Allergy symptoms that include red and itchy eyes. Unsuitable for kids under 2 years of age
Cyproheptadine Syrup and Tablet Appetite stimulant, hay fever, hives. Unsuitable for kids under 2 years of age
Diphenhydramine Tablet and Tablet A cough, flu, cold, insomnia. Unsuitable for kids under 12 years of age.
Oxatomide Drops and Tablets Hives, hay fever. Exercise caution when giving to children under 6 years
Promethazine Syrup, tablet and ointment Hives, motion sickness, hay fever, vomiting and nausea Should be used with extreme caution


Triprolidine Syrup and tablet Flu, cold and cough medicines Unsuitable for kids under 6 years of age


2. Non Sedatives (New-Generation Antihistamines)

The new-generation or non-sedative antihistamines are best antihistamine medicines for children because they have lesser known drawbacks on kid’s health. These medicines do not cause sedation and usually have a longer effect. In the following table, we shall be discussing various non-sedative or new-generation antihistamines.

Ingredients Format Commonly Used For Safe for Children
Azelastine Nose drops Blocked, itchy or running nose Unsuitable for kids under 5 years of age
Buclizine Syrup and tablet Medicine or food allergies, hay fever Unsuitable for kids under 1 year of age
Cetirizine Syrup and tablet Allergic conditions and hay fever Unsuitable for kids under 2 years of age
Ebastine Syrup and tablet Hay fever and other allergies Unsuitable for kids under 2 years of age
Levocetirizine Eye and nose drops Hay fever and other allergies Unsuitable for kids under 2 years of age
Olopatadine Eye drops Allergies that lead to red, itchy or watery eyes Not good for kids under 3 years of age


When Child Should Take Antihistamines?

In order to keep the allergies at an arm’s distance, it should be administered before the symptoms become evident. Following are some recommendations that your doctor may make:

1. Before Bedtime

It is a known fact that allergic symptoms are at their prime during early morning hours. Therefore, if you give the medicine at bedtime, your child may be able to get some peaceful sleep.

2. Before The Allergy Season Begins

When there are pollens in the air, it is usually termed as allergy season. If you start giving antihistamines around 3 to 10 days before the allergy season sets in, it may be helpful in keeping allergy symptoms at bay.

3. All Through The Year

In case your child exhibits allergic symptoms all throughout the year, you may need to give him antihistamines all through the year to keep the allergy symptoms at bay.

Things to Remember

There are few points or things to ponder:

  • Before you use antihistamine, you should make sure your child’s nasal passage is clear. You may use saline nasal drops to clear the nasal passage. After clearing the nasal passage, you may carefully spray the medicine inside your child’s nose.
  • Ensure that you spray away from your child’s septum. A thin wall between the nostrils is called the septum.
  • Usually, the sprays may take some time to show improvement in the symptoms, and until then your doctor may prescribe other allergy medicines.

Figuring out which medicine may be best suited to your child’s condition may take a while. You may get in touch with your doctor to ask what your child may do or not do.

Also Read:

Sleepwalking Disorder in Kids
Dark Circle in Children
Effective Cough Remedies for Kids at Night

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