My son ate some cake at a birthday party and then developed hives. What causes hives? Could it have been the cake?
Something in the cake could have caused your son's hives. Hives — raised, itchy patches on the skin—can develop when someone is allergic to something (like foods such as eggs or nuts, bee stings, or medicines) and the body releases a chemical called histamine.
While hives themselves usually go away with time, they can be a sign of a serious allergy. If so, a future allergic reaction could cause more serious problems, like trouble breathing.
See the doctor to figure out what caused your son's hives. If he has a food allergy, it's important to have it diagnosed so that your son can learn to avoid potentially dangerous foods and keep emergency medication (epinephrine) with him at all times.
Give epinephrine and call 911 immediately if your son ever has signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as throat tightness and breathing trouble.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2012
|American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offers up-to-date information and a find-an-allergist search tool.|
|The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) The FAAN mession is to raise public awareness, provide advocacy and education and to advance research on behavior for all of those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.|
|First Aid: Allergic Reactions Although most allergic reactions aren't serious, severe reactions can be life-threatening and can require immediate medical attention.|
|Serious Allergic Reactions (Anaphylaxis) Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The good news is it can be prevented and treated.|
|Food Allergies Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions in kids, so it's important to know how to feed a child with food allergies and to prevent reactions.|
|Celiac Disease Kids who have celiac disease, a disorder that makes their bodies react to gluten, can't eat certain kinds of foods. Find out more - including what foods are safe and where to find them.|
|Nut and Peanut Allergy If your child is allergic to nuts or peanuts, it's essential to learn what foods might contain them and how to avoid them.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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