What are the Causes of Hives in Children?

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  • Written By: Rhonda Rivera
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 February 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Hives in children are often an allergic reaction to food, medication, and other everyday things children come into contact with. Food additives or an intolerance to a new food might be the cause of a sudden onset of hives. A new medication can also cause hives in children, making him or her uncomfortable and itchy. Insect bites from exploring the outdoors could also be to blame. Sometimes, even a change in weather temperatures can cause or aggravate a hives rash.

Shellfish, peanuts, and soy are common food allergies, and consumption of even a small amount of these foods may have a negative effect on someone who is allergic to them. It is not always obvious the child consumed a new food; for example, a parent might order his or her child’s favorite and often-consumed dish at a restaurant only to have the child break out in hives later on because the dish was cooked in peanut oil. The food could also be contaminated in other ways, such as being prepared using the same utensils or cooking pan as other food. To avoid a hives rash brought on by food allergies, parents can introduce new food with caution, inform restaurant staff of known allergies, and be careful when preparing and cooking food at home.


Hives in children is sometimes the result of using a new medication, either prescription or over the counter. If this is the obvious cause of a medication, a health professional should be consulted on whether or not to discontinue its use. In many cases, the parent will be advised to stop usage immediately, and be prescribed a different drug.

Weather conditions or indoor spaces that are uncomfortably warm may also cause or worsen hives in children. The child may begin to sweat, causing his or her skin to become moist and irritated after a while. In addition, this type of hives in children can be caused by cold weather, even if the child is not sweating. Tight clothing will usually aggravate these conditions.

It is not unusual for the cause of hives to remain undiscovered. The child could be allergic to something he or she came in contact with indirectly. It could also be due to exposure to the sun or a sunlamp, which are not reasons commonly considered. Depending on the cause, hives in children can last anywhere from less than a day to more than six weeks.



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