Hives are an itchy skin rash -- red, raised bumps with a paler center - triggered by an irritant. They can show up anywhere on your child's body, from the skin to the inside of his mouth, and vary in size from 1/16 inch in diameter to many inches across.
An episode of hives can be over in a few hours, but most take about 48 hours to completely disappear. Some stubborn cases may even last a few weeks.
Common triggers include food allergies, drugs, viruses, insect bites and stings, plants, exercise, heat, and cold.
Unfortunately, finding the cause of your child's hives is rarely easy; many times, you and your doctor will be unable to identify the exact cause. And like most allergic reactions, your child may have been exposed to the irritant in the past without any problem.
You can use cool compresses or a cool bath to reduce irritation and itching, but since hives are a reaction to histamine, antihistamines are usually the most effective treatment. Benadryl is available over-the-counter in liquid and pills. Follow the dosing guidelines carefully . Give Benadryl every 6 hours until the hives fade. Continue the medication, spacing the doses farther and farther apart, until you are sure the hives are no longer a problem.
If the child develops any difficulty in breathing or the wheals do not begin to subsidi in next 3 days then you should cpntact your doctor immediately.
Thank you for your prompt response... The hives are definitely persistent. It has been about 10 days so far. The Zyrtec does not seem to be helping as much as I think it should, so tomorrow I will pick up some Benadryl and we will try that instead. I've heard it could make her drowsy but at this point I'll take the chance.