Is your child suddenly sneezy? It could be allergies. Seasonal allergies may strike your child for the first time this spring if he or she is between the ages of two and five. Typically, seasonal allergies don’t develop in infants. But how do you know if it is allergies or if your child has caught a cold? River Valley Pediatrics, your pediatric clinic in New Braunfels, offers you these signs of spring allergies.
Common allergy symptoms include itchy eyes, running nose and sneezing. But how do you know that your child doesn’t have a cold? If your child has a common cold, the runny nose that starts off watery becomes thick and yellow. Your child may also experience a low-grade fever as well as weakness and fatigue. These symptoms start fast, within hours, and may last up to 10 days.
With allergies, there is no fever and the nasal discharge is clear. Itching may be present in the throat, eyes and nose.
A child with allergies may have a rash that can appear anywhere on the body.
Good Days and Bad Days
On days that pollen counts are low, your child will seem to be just fine. But he or she will get worse on days that pollen counts are high. Tracking pollen counts and how your child feels on high pollen days is one way to better determine if the symptoms are from a cold or driven by allergies.
Allergies can sometimes lead to inflammation in the ear.
What Can You Do?
If you or your pediatrician determines that your child is suffering from allergies, there are a number of ways you can deal with it.
Close the Windows
When spring brings warm weather, you are tempted to open the windows in your home and let the fresh, air in. But in doing so, you are also letting in any number of allergens. So if you have a child who is suffering from allergies, it is best if you keep the windows closed.
Wash Things Up
When you or any of your family members spend time outside, their clothing and their bodies collect pollen and inevitably drag it indoors with them. It is important that members of your family wash up often, especially their hands and change clothes if they have been frolicking in the park or doing some other outdoor activity that could have left them covered in pollen.
It is especially important that you keep clean clothes on the child who is suffering allergies. An evening bath or shower will help alleviate symptoms so your child sleeps better at night.
Be Smart About Outdoor Time
It is important that your child spend as much time outdoors as possible, it’s good for them and healthy. But you need to be smart about the time that is spent outside. For example, your child should stay indoors on days with high pollen counts and on days that are windy. Check with pollen counts on a daily basis before you plan outdoor activities.
The itchy eyes, sneezing and running nose are hard to take, you will want to find relief for your child. As it turns out, allergy medications work best when taking them consistently. They won’t give immediate relief as it takes them a bit to kick in, but relief will come in due time.
As with any medication, you should consult with your pediatrician about what should be taken, how much your child should take and for how long a period of time. You should also have your child see the doctor a few times during the allergy season to ensure that they aren’t suffering from something other than just common spring allergies.
During the allergy season, you will want to make sure you are vacuuming as much as possible, wiping things down all of the time and keeping clothes, towels and sheets washed. And when you dry the sheets from your bed, don’t hang them on the clothesline outside, they will wind up covered in pollen.
Delegate Outdoor Chores
It probably isn’t a good idea to have your child who suffers from allergies mow the lawn or pull weeds from the garden. These tasks will certainly stir up allergens. Instead, find outdoor chores that won’t make the symptoms worse. You can also buy pollen masks that will help when outdoors doing chores.
Use the air conditioning in your home and in your car as well. Instead of driving with the windows down to keep cool, utilize the air conditioning. Keep the indoor air in your home dry by using a dehumidifier. Check your HVAC filters often and have them changed at regular intervals. You might also want to look into HEPA filters.
If you have a child suffering from seasonal allergies, give River Valley Pediatrics a call.