Beautiful spring day, light wind on your face, warm sun beating down…. your child sneezing non-stop, constant sniffing and eye-rubbing, cough keeping her up all night…. Seasonal allergies can be like a thunderstorm on your beautiful spring or fall day. But they don’t have to be, half the battle is identifying them.. And the other half minimizing your child’s exposure and symptoms.
Any child older than one can develop seasonal allergies. They are more common in children with eczema, asthma, food allergies and when there is a family history. Children with seasonal allergies can have rashes, watery/red eyes, runny nose, sneezing, cough, wheezing or sore throat.
You should suspect that your child has allergies if they have any of the above symptoms for more than two weeks that occur around the same time every year (the fall and/or the spring). The diagnosis is often made just by history, but sometimes we will do a blood test or send your child to an allergist for skin testing to confirm the diagnosis.
The first step in dealing with allergies is to minimize exposure. Keep the windows closed when the pollen counts are high. Make sure everyone in the family leaves their shoes at the door when coming in from outside to prevent tracking of pollen through the house, and lastly make sure your child bathes when they come inside.
There are a number of medications we use to help decrease the symptoms caused by allergies. Most children will take an oral antihistamine (zyrtec, claritin, benadryl). Additionally there are nasal sprays (flonase) and eye drops (zaditor), that can relieve many of the symptoms as well.
If you are concerned your child is suffering from allergies please reach out. We are happy to see him or her in the office to come up with a good allergy plan for you and your family.