Nowadays, kids’ sniffles and coughs can make us wonder whether it’s COVID-19, the flu, or RSV. There’s another possibility, though. Every year, about 20% of children suffer from seasonal allergies, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Symptoms of seasonal allergies in children can include sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, and even asthma.
Preventing kids’ seasonal allergies
The best way to prevent kids’ seasonal allergies is to reduce exposure to allergens. This can be done by keeping windows and doors closed and using air conditioning instead of open windows. It can help to keep the house clean and vacuum regularly to reduce dust and other allergens that come in through windows or on people’s and animals’ feet. In addition, parents can check pollen levels before allowing their children to play outside and limit outdoor activities on days with high pollen counts.
It is also important to teach your child good hygiene habits. Washing hands regularly and avoiding touching the face can help reduce the severity of seasonal allergies in children. For kids with severe seasonal allergies, consider having them change clothes when they come inside after playing outdoors. Toss their clothes in the washer and have them take a quick shower before putting on clean clothing.
If your child does develop seasonal allergies, the first step is to consult your pediatrician to help alleviate those allergy symptoms. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications or prescription medications and avoidance of common allergens. Many over-the-counter medications can help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies, but it is important to consult a doctor before giving any medications to children.
If your child’s allergy symptoms are not controlled by medication and avoidance of common allergens, your doctor may refer your child to an allergist for further testing and treatment.
Seasonal allergies in children can be uncomfortable and even dangerous, but there are steps that parents can take to reduce the symptoms and prevent them from occurring. With proper prevention and treatment, children can have a much more comfortable allergy season.