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Care at Home

  • HIVES ONLY ON ONE PART OF THE BODY - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Wash the allergic substance off the skin with soap and water. * If itchy, use a cold pack for 20 minutes. You can also rub the hives with an ice cube for 10 minutes. * Hives just on one part of the body should go away on their own. They don't need Benadryl. * They should go away in a few hours.
  • BENADRYL FOR HIVES ALL OVER THE BODY: * Give Benadryl 4 times per day for hives all over that itch. No prescription is needed. See Dose Table. * If you only have another allergy medicine at home (but not Benadryl), use that. * Continue the Benadryl 4 times per day until the hives are gone for 12 hours. * Caution: Do not use if age is under 1 year. Reason: Benadryl is a sedative. Give your doctor a call for advice.
  • COOL BATH FOR ITCHING: * To help with the itching, give a cool bath. Do this for 10 minutes.  (Caution: Avoid causing a chill). * Can also rub very itchy spots with an ice cube for 10 minutes.
  • GET RID OF ALLERGENS: * Give a bath or shower if caused by pollens or animal contact. * Change clothes.
  • STAY AWAY FROM ALLERGENS: * If you know what is causing the hives, avoid this substance. An example is certain foods. * Help your child stay away from this allergen in the future.
  • RETURN TO SCHOOL: * Hives cannot be spread to others. * Your child can go back to school once feeling better. The hives shouldn't keep him from normal activities. * For hives from an infection, can go back after the fever is gone. Your child should feel well enough to join in normal activities.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Hives all over from a viral illness normally come and go. * They may last for 3 or 4 days. Then, they go away. * Most children get hives once.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Severe hives not better after 2 doses of Benadryl * Itch not better after 24 hours on Benadryl * Hives last more than 1 week * Your child becomes worse
  • HIVES CAUSED BY FOODS: * Foods can cause widespread hives. * Sometimes, the hives are just around the mouth. * Hives from foods usually last just a short time. They often are gone in less than 6 hours.
  • HIVES ALL OVER THE BODY - WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:  * Over 10% of children get hives 1 or more times. * Often the cause is not found. * Most hives don't turn into a severe allergic reaction. * Here is some care advice that should help.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to 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.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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