Seasonal Allergies in Children: How to Survive the Season

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by Azure Sullivan

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03.26.2022

Seasonal Allergies in Children: How to Survive the Season

Kids Health Secrets | Blue Emerald Wellness

a child blowing her nose outside from seasonal allergies

If you have a child with seasonal allergies, you know how difficult it can be to survive the season. Allergies can cause a variety of symptoms, from sneezing and coughing to itchy eyes and a runny nose. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best ways to cope with seasonal allergies in children. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to reduce your child’s exposure to allergens. Let’s get started!

Seasonal allergies are caused by a variety of environmental factors, such as pollen, mold, and dust. Exposure to these allergens cause the body to produce histamine, which leads to the symptoms of allergies. These allergens can cause a range of symptoms in children, including sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. In some cases, allergies can also lead to asthma attacks. Seasonally, the spring and early summer are the worst times for seasonal allergies, followed by fall.Also, at times, it may be very difficult to differentiate viral upper respiratory infections (colds) versus seasonal allergies.

Some examples of specific allergens that impact children include:

Pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses

This type of allergen is more common in the spring and early summer. Additionally, exposure to allergens can vary based upon geographic location. For example, children who live in southern United States may experience earlier onset of allergen exposure as compared to those who live in northern United States.

up close view of a dandelion

Mold spores/Mold

Mold spores are commonly found in the environment, especially during the summer months when humidity is high. These spores can cause a variety of respiratory symptoms in children, including coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In some cases, mold spores can also trigger asthma attacks. Mold is a type of fungus that can grow both indoors and outdoors. It thrives in warm, moist environments, such as bathrooms and basements.

Dust mites

Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in dusty environments. They are commonly found in homes, especially in bedrooms and carpets. Dust mites can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. Additionally, dust mites are a common trigger for asthma.

Animal dander

Animal dander is a type of protein that is found in the skin, saliva, and urine of animals. It is a common allergen for children, particularly those who have pet allergies. Animal dander can cause a variety of symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. Animal dander exposure can vary based upon season.

Common Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies

a child blowing her nose outside

  1. Sneezing
  2. Stuffy nose
  3. Runny nose
  4. Itchy nose
  5. Itchy eyes
  6. Red eyes
  7. Difficulty sleeping from post nasal drip congestion and coughing

Other Signs That Should Lead You To Suspect Seasonal Allergies

  1. Rubbing their eyes and face
  2. Allergic salute (using the back of their hand to rub their nose)
  3. Allergic shiners (bluish hue under the eyes)
  4. Red line on the middle of the nose (from rubbing their nose)
  5. Mouth breathing

The diagnosis of seasonal allergies is generally a clinical diagnosis. This means the doctor will discuss the history, perform a physical exam, and make a diagnosis. Occasionally, if the diagnosis is not clear, they may recommend a referral to an allergist (doctor specializing in allergies).

An allergist may do skin testing or blood tests.

Allergy Testing

The most common test used to diagnose seasonal allergies. It involves placing a small amount of allergen on the skin and waiting for 15-20 minutes to see if there is a reaction. If the child is allergic, they will develop hives, swelling, or redness at the site where the allergen was placed.

A blood test may also be used to diagnose seasonal allergies. This test measures the level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood. IgE is a type of antibody that is produced by the body in response to an allergen. The results of a blood test can take several days to get back.

Treatment For Seasonal Allergies

There are a variety of treatment options available for seasonal allergies. The best approach is to avoid exposure to the allergen, if possible. If avoidance is not possible, there are a number of medications that can be used to control symptoms.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications:

These include antihistamines, decongestants, and eye drops. Antihistamines work by blocking the action of histamine, which is a substance that is released by the body in response to an allergen. Decongestants help to reduce congestion by constricting blood vessels. Eye drops can be used to relieve itchiness and redness.

boxes of over the counter Benadryl on a shelf

Doctor recommended OTC medications:

Children’s liquid dye-free Benadryl

Children’s liquid Xyzal 24-hour Relief

Amazon Basic Children’s All Day Allergy

Children’s Bausch+Lomb Alaway Antihistamine Eyedrops

Children’s Claritin Chewables 24-hour Relief

Zaditor Antihistamine Eyedrops

Petaday Once Daily Relief Eyedrops

Prescription medications:

These include oral corticosteroids and nasal sprays. Oral corticosteroids are taken by mouth and work by reducing inflammation. Nasal sprays help to reduce congestion and runny nose.

Reducing Exposure

There are a few things that you can do to reduce your child’s exposure to allergens:

-Keep them indoors as much as possible (if you must take them outside, make sure to dress them in loose-fitting clothing that covers their skin).

-Avoid if possible letting children play in areas where there are high levels of pollen, such as fields or near ponds.

-Keep windows closed and use air conditioning in your home and car.

-Keep windows closed during times when pollen counts are high. This is typically in the morning hours.

-Monitor pollen counts in your area and limit outdoor activities on high pollen days.

-Change clothes and take a shower after being outdoors to remove pollen from your skin and hair.

-Wash bedding in hot water weekly to remove pollen.

-Vacuum regularly and use a dust mite cover on mattresses and pillows.

-Maintain good indoor air quality by avoiding the use of perfumes, scented candles, or aerosols.

-Use an air purifier in your home.

When To See A Doctor

If your child is experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, you should seek medical attention immediately. You should also see a doctor if over-the-counter medications are not providing relief.

Seasonal allergies can be a nuisance, but there are ways to manage them. By avoiding exposure to allergens and taking medications as needed, most children will be able to get through the season with relatively few problems. If you have any concerns, be sure to speak with your child’s doctor.

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For more information and resources on your baby’s or child’s health, parent tips and tricks, pediatric emergencies, please visit our website or blog. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also visit our website to download free PDF guides and hear our podcasts.

The information in this blog is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes and is the opinion of staff at Blue Emerald Wellness. Please do not delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you read in this blog.

Author Azure Sullivan

Reviewed medically by Dr. Christopher Haines

Disclosure: We only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

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