Oral second generation antihistamines are unlikely to be sedating (zyrtec, claritin, or allegra). Nasal steroid and antihistamine sprays can be very helpful for symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Leukotriene inhibitors such as singulair (montelukast) block allergic inflammatory chemicals. These all have a good safety record. Allergy shots can help with moderate to severe allergy.
Most antihistamines are safe for children to use to treat childhood allergies.
Some examples of brand name antihistamines are Benadryl (diphenhydramine) (1st generation) and claritin, zyrtec and Allegra (2nd generation). It is always best to speak to your healthcare provider before trying one of these medicines.
There are many medications that are safe and effective for use in childhood allergies including antihistamines, nasal steroids, anti leukotriene medications are some of the most common one.
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Pediatricians also use plain Benadryl (diphenhydramine) syrup, for toddlers down to age 1 year. Skin rashes from allergies are usually treated with Hydrocortisone 1%, or a stronger prescription steroid cream if needed.
However intranasal steroid and inhaled cortisone are in general more effective although there is some evidence that the ultimate height may be slightly reduced (1/3 inch) plus a slight risk for cataracts later on in life.