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Hives on the Back
Hives on the Abdomen
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR HIVES|
- Localized Hives:
- For localized hives, wash the allergic substance off the skin with soap and water.
- If itchy, massage the area with a cold pack or ice for 20 minutes.
- Localized hives usually disappear in a few hours and don't need Benadryl.
- Benadryl for Widespread Hives:
- Give Benadryl 4 times per day for widespread hives that itch. See Dosage chart.
- If you only have another antihistamine at home (but not Benadryl), use that.
- Continue the Benadryl 4 times per day until the hives are gone for 12 hours.
- Contraindication: Age is under a year (Reason: Benadryl is a sedative). Give your doctor a call for advice.
- Food-Related Hives:
- Foods can cause widespread hives
- Sometimes the hives are isolated to just around the mouth
- Hives from foods usually are transient and gone in under 6 hours
- Cool Bath: Give a cool bath for 10 minutes to relieve itching. Â (Caution: avoid causing a chill) Â Rub very itchy areas with an ice cube for 10 minutes.
- Remove Allergens: Give a bath or shower if triggered by pollens or animal contact. Change clothes.
- Avoid Allergens: If you identify a substance that causes hives (e.g., a food), help your child avoid that substance in the future.
- Contagiousness: Hives are not contagious. Your child can return to day care or school if the hives do not interfere with normal activities. If the hives are associated with an infection, your child can return to school after the fever is gone and your child feels well enough to participate in normal activities.
- Expected Course: Hives from a viral illness normally come and go for 3 or 4 days, then disappear. Most children get hives once.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Severe hives persist after 2nd dose of Benadryl
- Most of the itch is not relieved within 24 hours on continuous Benadryl
- Hives last over 1 week
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 6/18/2008
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.