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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 (no prescription needed). 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 1 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. (Caution: avoid causing a chill) 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.
- Hives are not contagious.
- Your child can return to child 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: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.