Allergies, Spring season and your child
Is your child gets cough, runny nose, watery itchy red eyes everytime when season changes? Do you need to visit your pediatrician every 10-15 days for cold that is not improving? Read below to find answer why this happens and how this can be tackled.
Spring is the month of allergies. Along with great weather comes allergies. Unfortunately many of us and our children are susceptible to allergies.
The science behind allergies
Allergies, which affect approximately 15-20% of the population, mostly starts in childhood and remains till you live. Often there has been strong relative family history about allergies. Allergies are body’s response against foreign antigen that are exaggerated. So when your body gets in contact with this antigen it thinks that something has invaded it’s territory and fight against them by secreting histamins and hormones. People are allergic to tree pollen, grass pollen, weed pollen, and mold. These things trigger the immune response and cause different symptoms like clear runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, and throat, red and watering eyes, and chronic cough. And these makes your child irritable and unhappy. School absenteeism, poor learning and performance, poor lifestyle, irritability and frequent ear and sinus infection can happen as complications.
Is there any difference between seasonal allergies and a cold?
When you get cold it’s due to virus. It may come with muscle aches and pains and nausea, and just a general feeling of being unwell.But Allergies usually cause sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and a runny nose but you will be well to do your work with full energy.
Is there any way to prevent allergies from happening in the first place?
As of now we now about allergies runs in families. And we can’t treat genetic conditions. Yes, our scientist are finding such therapies to prevent and treat some genetic diseases. Another thought is “hygine hypothesis’. That tells us that if your child is brought up in very clear,dust free and germ free environment there body will not be used to fight and ready for such situations. So when your child is exposed to such antigens lesser chance is there to get such allergies.
So how to Treat allergies?
The best treatment for allergies is avoidance. You can accomplish this by avoiding (or at least limiting) outdoor exposure in the morning and evening, when allergens levels are highest. You can also use air conditioning, especially at night, and avoid opening windows
Of course, we all know that keeping your children locked indoors is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially when they’ve been indoors all winter. So here are a two good ways to help control allergy symptoms:
- Over-the-Counter Antihistamines
Common oral antihistamines are Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Loratadine (Claritin), Cetirizine (Zyrtec ) and Fexofenadine (Allegra). Doses are based on age and or weight.
- Eye Drops
There are also multiple eye drops that can be used to alleviate eye symptoms: Olopatadine , and Ketotifen, You should follow the directions on the package for use.
When to Call
If you find that your child has seasonal symptoms, we recommend that you start the allergy meds as soon as the first signs appear, or about 1 week prior to the season start. At our house this year, we missed the start and are now trying to get things under control. Continue treatment through the end of the allergy season.
If you find the symptoms worsening or not being controlled with all of the above measures, or if your child develops ear pain, fevers, wheezing or thick nasal drainage, he or she should be evaluated in our office to determine if there is something other than allergies causing those symptoms.
What We can do at The Child Plus Children’s Hospital?
We can help you to prevent this for your child. Also our protocol based treatment for allergies help your child to recover at the earliest. As always, please call if you have any concerns regarding treatment, or any other questions we can help you answer.