In the spring, depending on where you live, trees and grasses can be a common allergen, or trigger of your child's allergies.
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is a common problem in infants and children. The most common symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose with clear drainage or congestion, repeated sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, sore throat, throat clearing and a cough that may be worse at night and in the morning. Children with allergies may also breath through their mouth a lot and have dark circles under their eyes (allergic shiners).
These symptoms usually occur during certain times of the year for people with seasonal allergies, corresponding to being exposed to outdoor allergens, such as tree pollens, grasses and weeds.
Other people may have perennial allergies, with symptoms occurring year round from exposure to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pets, second hand smoke and molds.
Although it can be helpful to avoid the things that you are allergic to, such as dust mites or cats, it is harder when you have seasonal allergies. Although it isn't practical to not go outside during your allergy season, there are some steps you can take to minimize your child's exposure to allergens (things that cause allergies), such as:
- keeping windows closed in the car and home to avoid exposure to pollens, especially on days when the pollen forcasts predict medium or high pollen levels
- limiting outdoor activities when pollen counts are highest (early morning for spring time tree pollens, afternoon and early evening for summer grasses, and in the middle of the day for ragweed in the fall.)
- not hanging clothing outside to dry, instead, use a dryer or hang the clothes inside
- taking a daily bath at bedtime, which may help to wash off allergens and prevent nighttime allergy problems
- take any preventative allergy medications, such as an antihistamine and/or nasal steroid spray before your child's allergy season begins and continuing them on a daily basis throughout your child's allergy season.
If your child's allergy symptoms aren't getting under control with your current medications, a recheck with your Pediatrician might be a good idea.