Easing Seasonal Allergy Symptoms in Children
Spring is a time to enjoy the outdoors. The flowers and trees are blooming. The weather is warming. The kids are sneezing and sniffling. Huh? Seasonal allergies do not have to prevent your family from enjoying the outdoors. Here are some tips to help ease the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
What are seasonal allergies?
Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, are allergy symptoms that occur specific times of the year. The blooming of trees, flowers and weeds causes pollen to be released into the air to fertilize other plants. Outdoor molds may also be releasing spores into the air. This causes cold-like symptoms in those who are allergic. The symptoms include sneezing, congestion and a runny nose with clear discharge. If these symptoms occur around the same time each year, your child may have seasonal allergies.
Tips to keep your kids comfortable during allergy season
Tip 1: The number one tip for allergy sufferers is to avoid or reduce exposure to allergens. As nice as it is to keep the windows open during the spring, they should be kept closed. Open windows invite pollen and spores into the home, exacerbating the problem. Pollen levels are highest in the morning and early afternoon. It is best to plan outdoor activities for later in the day to minimize exposure. Children will allergies should also change clothes following outdoor play.
Tip 2: When minimizing exposure is not enough, consider antihistamines and other medicines that help reduce allergy symptoms. One of the most effective non-sedating antihistamines available over the counter is loratadine. This can be found in Claritin, Alavert and others. Some minimally sedating antihistamines that are equally effective include cetirizine (Zytec), among others. The trick is to use the antihistamine before exposure to allergens. This typically requires the child take the medicine every day during allergy season.
Tip 3: It is important to speak with your pediatrician before giving your child medicine to relieve their symptoms. You should also speak with them if the medicine does not provide adequate relief. In this case they may recommend taking your child to an allergist for allergy shots (immunotherapy) to help desensitize them to allergens.
As parents we want our children to be comfortable and well. If you suspect your child is suffering from seasonal allergies, contact us. We will discuss options to help ease the symptoms so your child can get back to enjoying the great outdoors!