Little kids’ noses are either constantly leaking or constantly congested. They cough, sneeze, and rub their eyes a lot. But how do you know if this is because of an allergy? Let’s start with the typical allergy symptoms:
- Stuffy OR runny nose
- Itchy eyes and nose
- Sore throat
- Dark circles under the eyes
These symptoms will appear seasonally, like when grass pollen starts in late Spring or weed pollen or mold spores plaque the air in the late Summer/early Fall. Children need to be exposed to an allergen before they can be allergic to it, and that’s why children under two years of age are less likely to have environmental allergies. Along with these symptoms will be the consequences of being congested and itchy: fatigue, behavioral issues, as well as asthma exacerbation and possibly ear and sinus infections.
Minimizing Exposure to Seasonal Allergy Triggers
Allergens cling to everything, so the best thing to do is try and keep them off you! Here are some things you can do to minimize the impact of allergens:
- Make sure to have kids wash their hands and face when they come in from playing outside.
- Limit outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are high (download Weather app from your local news station!)
- Make bathing/showering a nightly activity to rinse off allergens before bedtime.
- If your child is especially sensitive, keep windows closed. Make sure to regularly replace your air conditioning filter, too.
Treating Seasonal Allergies
If your child is bothered by their allergy symptoms, there are many effective ways to treat them. Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider if you’re unsure about dosage or about which treatment would best treat your child and ALWAYS read labels carefully.
Nasal Saline: A simple nasal saline spray can clear out allergens from the nose. Your healthcare provider may recommend a steroid nasal spray to reduce any inflammation.
Oral Antihistamines: These block histamine, an agent responsible for producing all the swelling and secretions that happen during an allergy reaction. There are many kinds of antihistamines available over the counter. You do NOT give a child more than one type of antihistamine at a time. The good news is that newer antihistamines last longer and only need to be taken once a day!
We know it can be stressful seeing your child deal with allergy symptoms. We can help diagnose what allergens your child reacts to and provide a variety of care and treatment options. The important thing is identifying the reason for the discomfort and then helping your child feel better soon. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!