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For as long as I can remember, I have always been a fan of seasonal change! From budding flowers, to leaves falling from trees, and sitting fireside with a hot chocolate, to beachside with sand in my toes. I look forward to these seasonal perks each and every year. Every season brings with it a new feel, and when spring time rolls around, you can be sure I want to enjoy the great outdoors with my family. Outdoor activities are abundant in San Diego this time of year, and one thing that I don’t want, is to enjoy the fresh air while sniffling, sneezing and rubbing my eyes. Since the early age of ten, I can remember being affected by spring allergies.
Did you know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among kids ages 18 and under? Just because my children aren’t showing signs of allergies today, doesn’t mean they won’t show symptoms tomorrow. When I was younger, I developed allergy symptoms out of the blue, and as a mom who suffers from allergies, I want to make sure I know what to do if symptoms should arise in my little ones. Sadly I’m not only allergic to pollen (and all the spring triggers), I’m also allergic to my two dogs. With a house full of kids, it’s better to have an allergy action plan in place, and take preventative measures before the problems start.
- Allergies prompt 17 million visits to the doctor every year, peaking in the spring and fall. So if your kids suddenly have watery eyes or runny noses, especially after soccer or baseball practice, you might have an allergy sufferer in the house.
My favorite parent resource, KnowYourOTC’s spoke with Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Mama Doc and she shared the below 5 tips for parents with kids who suffer from seasonal allergies. When I find good tips especially from Mama Doc, you can be sure I will be sharing them with you. You can check out her post here.
“What Is “Hay Fever” And Why Does It Happen?
- Hay fever is the most common allergy in Americans, and represents the allergic reaction to pollens in the air and environment. Seasonal allergy sufferers see symptoms at particular times of year when specific allergic triggers (grass or tree pollen, for example) circulate. However, some children and adults can be allergic to more than one pollen or trigger, thus having symptoms at various times throughout the year. Most children who suffer from hay fever feel a noted shift in symptoms around the same time every year, though. During tee ball season, Jackson always needs his allergy meds.
- Who knew, but according to Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, “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.”
- 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 sneezers for parents, the risk of developing allergies soars to over 60%.
There are a lot of over the counter allergy medicines that can help relieve allergy symptoms in children. There are a few choices in using oral medicines in children for sneezing, runny noses, hives and rashes associated with allergies. In addition, over the counter nasal sprays (intranasal steroids) are now available without a prescription to help with allergies in older children. Talk with your pediatrician if your child is using allergy medicines nearly every day, as intranasal steroid sprays can sometimes dramatically reduce allergy symptoms!
What To Know As A Parent
- If your child comes inside itchy and sneezy from playing in the yard or nearby park, have them take a shower or bath to get all the pollen off of their bodies and clothes to reduce the exposure and symptoms.
- Some over-the-counter 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.
- And as always, NEVER use any allergy medicine to sedate or make a child sleepy.
Enjoying the outdoors, picnics and al fresco exercise go hand in hand with spring – the glorious season of growth, awakening and, unfortunately, sniffles. Being a knowledgeable watery eye, sniffle detective always helps when it comes to spring allergies. One way to get up to speed on all things allergies is to visit Know Your OTC’s. As a parent, this site has been an excellent resource for me. Understanding how to properly read the drug facts label when giving our little ones medicine makes me feel more prepared and confident in handling spring allergy symptoms if and when they arise. Plus, being proactive also leaves more time to stop and smell the roses with my little ones this season.
I’m proud to take part 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, all opinions are my own.