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Brief Version

What are hives?

Your child has hives when:

  • Your child has itchy, raised pink spots with pale centers. They often look like mosquito bites. They may be different sizes and shapes.
  • The spots change size and shape. They may move from one area on the body to another.

Your child may be allergic to a food, medicine, insect bites, or other things. This causes the hives. Hives do not spread to other people. They come and go for a few days and then go away.

How can I take care of my child?

  • Give your child antihistamine medicine. This medicine won't cure the hives, but it will help the itching and reduce the number of hives.

    Your child's medicine is _______________________. Give _____ every ____ hours.

    Be sure to keep giving the medicine until you are sure the hives are completely gone for 24 hours. Other wise your child may get itchy again.

  • Make sure your child stays away from anything you think may have caused the hives.
  • Have your child take a shower, if the hives were caused by pollen or animals.

Call your child's doctor right away if:

  • It gets hard for your child to breathe or swallow.
  • Your child starts to act very sick.

Call your child's doctor during office hours if:

  • Most of the itch is not better after your child has taken the medicine for 24 hours.
  • The hives last more than 1 week.
  • You have other concerns or questions.
Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2001-11-13
Last reviewed: 2006-03-02
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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