Spring brings warmer weather, shorter sleeves, more sunshine, and allergies. Spring allergies can be attributed to several culprits like pollen from blooming trees and dust from spring cleaning. Here is what you need to know about spring allergies and how to alleviate your kids’ symptoms.
Spring Allergies or Cold?
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your kid has come down with another cold or is suffering from spring allergies. If your child has ongoing cold-like symptoms that last more than 1-2 weeks, or that develop at about the same time each year, it’s probably allergies. These symptoms can include:
- Runny nose.
- Stuffy nose.
- Itchy, runny eyes.
- Itching or tingling in the mouth or throat—Itchiness is not usually a common complaint with a cold, but it is almost always the sign of an allergy problem.
Common Spring Allergies
- Tree and Grass Pollen: when your cars, sidewalks, and yard toys are covered in light-yellow dust that can make your kids’ allergies go crazy.
- Dust: dust mites and finely ground particles from other allergens, such as pollen, mold, and animal dander get kicked up during spring cleaning or when the breeze blows through open windows.
- Fungi: including molds too small to be seen with the naked eye, thrive in the warm, wet conditions of spring.
- Animals: cats, dogs, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, and other pets can cause allergies on their own, but they can also track in pollen from outside.
How to Get Some Relief
While allergies can’t be cured, there are several strategies for managing the symptoms to keep your children more comfortable during allergy season.
Keeping your child away from the allergens that are causing a reaction can help them feel better quickly.
- If your child is allergic to pollen keep them indoors when pollen counts are high.
- Always have your child shower or bathe after playing outside, or being exposed to a furry animal, and put on clean clothes so they aren’t sitting in allergens.
- If your child is allergic to your pets, keep them out of your child’s room.
- Keep windows and doors closed when trees and flowers are in blooms to keep pollen out of the house.
When eliminating exposure just isn’t an option, you should talk with your child’s pediatrician about starting an allergy medication to alleviate symptoms. Allergy medications come in many forms including antihistamines, decongestants, and steroid nasal sprays.
If eliminating exposure and medications still aren’t cutting it, your child’s pediatrician may recommend an allergy evaluation with an allergist or immunologist. You may opt to try immunotherapy, or allergy shots, which can determine which allergens most affect your child and desensitize them to those particular allergens.