How to Help Your Kids Beat Allergy Season
As the spring season and warmer weather are fast approaching, you and your child will likely be spending more time outside. The warmer weather doesn’t just signify the start of the spring season but also allergy season and with 1 in 10 children affected by seasonal respiratory allergies, you may notice your child sneezing and coughing more frequently with the seasonal change.
Although you generally cannot prevent allergies, you can help your child avoid contact with the allergens that trigger a reaction. Here are some tips to help you and your child navigate allergy season together:
Identify The Cause
Identify which allergens are affecting you child. Common spring allergens include, but are not limited to, grass, pollen, mold spores and dust mites. By identifying which allergens are affecting your child, you can better prhunt
If your child is affected by grass or pollen, keep an eye on the local pollen count. Pollen count is often listed on local weather reports throughout the spring and summer seasons.
Being mindful of pollen count can help you and your child plan outdoor activities at times when less pollen is in the air. If your child suffers from pollen or grass allergies, remember to avoid outdoor activities in areas with freshly-cut grass. It is also helpful to remember that most plants release their pollen at the start of a new day so avoid outdoor activities before lunchtime if possible.
Use An Antihistamine
It may be wise to keep antihistamines on hand in case you child’s symptoms worsen. Antihistamines can relieve such symptoms as nasal congestion and runny nose. They can also help prevent symptoms from developing if used at the start of allergy season if you know your child suffers from seasonal allergies.
The downside to many antihistamines is that they cause drowsiness. You should always talk to your child’s pediatrician first, to find the antihistamine and dosage that fits your child’s needs.
Your pediatrician may suggest using nasal corticosteroids instead of antihistamines. They are highly effective for allergy symptom control and widely used to stop chronic symptoms. The American Academy of Pediatrics also reports that they are safe to use in children over long periods of time. Nasal corticosteroids must be used daily for maximal effectiveness.
Keep Allergens Outside
Remember that outdoor allergens can follow you into your home. During allergy season, it is especially important to vacuum your home once or twice a week and dust all surfaces regularly to keep allergens at bay.
Make sure your air conditioning filter is clean so that it can function properly and eliminate airborne allergens and particles. It is also important to wash your child’s bedding, clothing and stuffed toys each week to ensure that no pollen, dander, dust mites, or mold particles are present.
If your efforts to beat allergies are not working, ask your pediatrician about allergy immunotherapy. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may be recommended to reduce your child's allergy symptoms. Allergy shots are prescribed only for patients with confirmed allergies. If allergen avoidance and medications are not successful, allergy shots for treatment of respiratory allergies to pollens, dust mites, cat and dog dander, and molds can help decrease the need for daily medication.
Contact Glen Allen Pediatrics to discuss any health-related issues regarding your child. You can dial 804-282-4210 today to schedule an appointment with an experienced pediatrician.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention