Allergy Season is Back! How Can I Prepare My Child?

March 17, 2014

allergyIf you get weather alerts on your phone, then you already know the pollen count is up and, yes, it’s true, allergy season is back!  The warm weather we have been dreaming about it almost here.  With that unfortunately comes pollen.  Our area is already experiencing high pollen levels.  Sadly, there is no cure for allergies.

What Are Allergies?

An ‘allergy’ is a sensitivity of your immune system to something that is ordinarily harmless. Your body tried to get that foreign substance out which is why you will experience symptoms of nasal allergies include repetitive sneezing, runny nose and post nasal drip.  The drainage from the nose can be clear or cloudy.  The ears, nose, and throat are itchy and eyes are watery and itchy.

If your child suffers from allergies, limit their exposure.  Stay indoors during the early morning hours.  Bathe and wash hair daily to remove pollen spores and to prevent them from getting on bedding.  Saline nasal spray can also help rinse the spores out of the nose.  As much as we even hate to think about it right now, it is best to use air conditioning instead of opening the windows.

Pollen levels can vary day to day depending on multiple factors. This will affect the severity of your symptoms. It is best to keep an eye on the pollen level either by the phone app from The Weather Channel, or you can get your allergy forecast by clicking this link.

WebMD has a great list of foods that may help to keep your allergies under control. They include:

  • Warm fluids. Whether you’re sipping tea or eating chicken soup, warm fluids help break up congestion in your airways, making it easier to cough up mucus.
  • Fish. Will a tuna sandwich stop your sneezing? Probably not. But some studies suggest that healthy omega-3 fatty acids — found in fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel — could lower the risk of developing allergies. Other studies have disagreed.
  • Yogurt. Some research shows that healthy bacteria called probiotics — found in yogurt — may slightly reduce pollen allergy symptoms in kids. More research needs to be done.
  • Honey. Taking a teaspoon of honey is a common treatment for allergies. Does it really work? Studies haven’t shown any benefit. But since it’s low-risk, you could see if it helps. Don’t give honey to kids under 1 year old.

Medications such as oral antihistamines, steroid nasal sprays, and eye drops are the most common medications used to reduce the symptoms of allergy.  Contact our office before giving an infant any type of allergy medicine.  Finding the treatment that works best for your child may take some time, but don’t give up. Once you find what works for you, you will be all set for the season!