Allergies are actually the third most common chronic disease among kids ages 18 and under. Prompting 17 million visits to the doctor each year, not surprisingly, it peaks in the spring and fall. A telltale sign? See if your kids have runny noses or watery eyes after sports practice. While most of us suffer through this time of year (I’m one of them), there are ways to help combat these spring allergies.
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Mama Doc offers information along with 5 Tips for Spring Allergies in Kids. Check them out below along with her blog post on allergies versus colds here and mine here.
What does “Hay Fever” mean and WHY does it happen?
Hay fever is the most common allergy in Americans and represents the allergic reaction to pollens in the air & environment. Seasonal allergy sufferers see symptoms at particular times of year when specific allergic triggers (grass or tree pollen, for example) circulate.
Some children and adults can have allergies to more than one pollen or trigger with symptoms appearing at various times throughout the year. With my family, this spring season seems to be the worst for our allergies. Most children who suffer from hay fever feel a noted shift in symptoms around the same time each year.
Typically, seasonal allergies are first seen after the preschool years although they can develop at any time during childhood, usually before age 10. Symptoms of allergies commonly change with age, peaking in severity when people are in their 20’s, and then often subsiding as adults age. I feel as if my allergies have gotten a little worse over the last few years, personally.
Allergies do tend to run in families. If one parent has allergies, there’s a 25% chance a child will too! And if your child is lucky enough to have two parents that are seasonal allergy sufferers, the risk of developing allergies soars to over 60%. Woohoo kids, you’re welcome!
The good news is there are a lot of OTC allergy medicines that can help relieve allergy symptoms in children. There are even a few choices in using oral medicines in children for sneezing, runny noses, hives and rashes associated with allergies. OTC nasal sprays (intranasal steroids) are now available without a prescription to help older children with allergies during allergy season when used daily. It’s important to talk with your pediatrician if your child is using allergy medicines nearly every day.
I use this tip all the time with my own kids after they’ve come in from playing outside and are itchy, coughing, or sneezing; have them take a shower or bath to get all that pollen off of their bodies to reduce the exposure and symptoms. This has made a big difference in our home as I try to transfer the allergens on clothes straight to the laundry room.
Here are a few KnowYourOTCs tips for parents as well as a helpful infographic:
- Some OTC oral allergy medicines are available in different dosage strengths. Read the Drug Facts label carefully for appropriate child dosing information and contact a healthcare provider as directed.
- Some oral allergy medicines may cause excitability or nervousness, especially in children. If you have any questions, contact your child’s healthcare provider.
- Never use any allergy medicine to sedate or make a child sleepy.
Have you suffered from allergies this season? I’d love to hear what has worked for you and your kids to combat allergy symptoms.
I’m proud to join the conversation and empower parents as a blogging ambassador with the CHPA (Consumer Health Products Association) Educational Foundation and KnowYourOTCs.org. This is a sponsored post. While I have received compensation by the CHPA Educational Foundation, KnowYourOTCs, my opinions are my own.