The change in seasons is always a great time, unless you suffer from seasonal allergies such as hay fever. If this is the case, then the increase in pollen and other airborne contaminants can be a source of constant irritation.
As adults, we can usually tell the difference between allergies, the common cold and other conditions such as asthma. However, we are not nearly as confident when it comes to our little ones, and we often start thinking their symptoms are a sign of something much more serious. Therefore, we put together this list of common signs of seasonal allergies and what you can do about them.
What Are Seasonal Allergies?
Before we go into the symptoms, it is useful to know what seasonal allergies are and why they affect so many of us. You have probably heard the term hay fever, and this is a name used to describe the allergy reaction people have to pollen and mold spores released into the air by trees, plants, and flowers during certain times of the year.
If you or your little ones are allergic to something, then you will have a reaction if you come into contact with them. How badly you react varies from person to person, but it is likely to be a constant irritation if left untreated.
If your kid starts sneezing a lot and isn’t displaying any other symptoms of a cold, then they are probably reacting to something in the air.
When allergens get into the nose, the body reacts aggressively and tries to force them out. There are many things which cause us to sneeze, but if there is no fever present, then it might be time to get out the antihistamines.
Runny Nose or Nasal Congestion
If your kid has a stuffy or a runny nose, then they are likely to complain a fair bit about it, as it can make it difficult for your kid to breathe and sleep. Seasonal allergies can wreak havoc on the nasal cavity and sinuses, but it is usually easy to tell whether the source of the runny or stuffy noses is an allergen, as the mucus will be clear and watery.
Luckily, both symptoms are easily treated using things like saline sprays and humidifiers. Ask your doctor for advice on the best treatment, as some treatments are not suitable for younger kids.
When a child starts coughing a lot, it is easy to start panicking and thinking they have some serious respiratory condition. However, a cough caused by allergies is quite distinct and can be identified by a dry cough which doesn’t produce any mucus.
These kinds of coughs also tend to last a long time, but if your child appears to be breathing normally and is not visibly in distress, then the noise sounds far worse than it is and should calm down with over-the-counter medicines.
Let’s face it: kids love to spread around germs amongst themselves, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if your child gets pink eye at some point in their lives. However, if you notice your little one continually rubbing their eyes and complaining that they are itchy, then this may be a sign of an allergy.
Look out for a watery discharge or if there is any discoloration around the eyes.
There are many treatment options available, but it is essential to try and discover which allergen is causing the problem first.
In some cases, reducing the exposure to the allergen will help clear up the symptoms. However, if this doesn’t work, medicines such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays will help bring relief.
If the symptoms are not severe, then you can usually treat seasonal allergies at home, but if you are unsure or want some guidance, then call your doctor’s clinic or visit your local pharmacy.