Children's Seasonal Allergies


It is very difficult to watch a child suffering from some form of allergy. Allergies are more common than we think. Here we have listed some potential causes for allergies and a few ways that may help you prevent these allergies.


What is an allergy?

Seasonal allergies tend to occur when airborne pollen from trees, grass, flowers and weeds enters the eyes, nose and throat and sets off an allergic reaction. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) estimated that seasonal allergies affect approximately 40% of children and 30% of adults.

Allergies to inhaled substances are quite rare during the first year of an infant’s life. Babies are likely to develop allergies if there is a family history of allergy, asthma and hay fever. It becomes quite impossible to control an allergy but you can always monitor the symptoms and take immediate steps to consult an allergist as early identification can likely improve the quality of life of your children.

Allergy triggers in children

Seasonal allergies tend to occur during the spring, summer and fall. When your baby inhales the following allergens, her immune system starts eliciting antibodies and produces histamine that causes a variety of symptoms.  

  • Outdoors: Tree pollen, plant pollen, insect bites or stings

The most common tree pollen is cedar, birch, oak, maple and pine. Some of the grass pollens include Bermuda, orchard, brome, rye and Timothy. Ragweed is considered to be main source of allergen that causes hay fever.

  • Indoors: Pet or animal hair or fur, dust mites, mold

Cat dander and long haired pets can cause a lot of issues. Some people are even allergic to the saliva and urine of pets. Dust mites are microscopic creatures which when inhaled can trigger an allergic reaction.

  • Irritants: Cigarette smoke, perfume, car exhaust
  • Foods: Peanuts, eggs, milk and milk products: Approximately 6 million children in the United States have some form of food allergy.
  • Latex: Household and school articles, like rubber gloves, toys, balloons; elastic in socks, underwear, and other clothing; airborne particles

Symptoms of allergic reactions

·         Skin rashes

·         Hives

·         Breathing difficulties (Asthma)

·         Sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes

·         Itchy runny nose

·         Congested stuffy nose

·         Chronic cough

·         Dark circles under the eyes

·         Headache

·         Ear problems

·         Allergic rhinitis can also cause fatigue, disturbed sleep and behavioral issues.

Seasonal Allergies in Children

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is common in children and the symptoms of it include runny and itchy nose, sneezing, postnasal drip and nasal congestion (blockage).  A child with allergies may also have itchy, watery, red eyes and chronic ear problems. It is commonly called hay fever but it is not triggered by hay and does not cause fever.

Eczema

This is a common inflammatory skin condition in children. The rate of eczema is increasing throughout the world.

Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that starts in the lungs. The airways are inflamed and when they come in contact with a trigger, an asthma attack can happen. Air pollution, viruses, fumes and allergens can be the triggers of asthma.

How to control the exposure to seasonal allergies?

The following can be done to minimize the exposure to allergens.

1. Always make sure that your children wash their hands and face once they enter home after playing. If they don’t do so, there are chances that they rub the pollen in their eyes and nose.

2. You can check the forecast of pollen count. When it seems to be the highest, you can avoid sending your child for outdoor activities.

3. Avoid drying the clothes outside in the pollen dust. Instead dry the clothes in a dryer.

4. To prevent nighttime allergy problems, let your child take a bath before the bedtime to wash off the allergens.

5. Keep the windows in your home and cars closed (The fresh air can bring pollen inside the house). Keep your air conditioner in air recirculation mode. You can also consider placing a HEPA filter on central air conditioner units or any personal air filters to cut indoor pollen.

6. Clean and dust your home regularly to control allergens.

7. Outdoor pets need to be washed often as their fur can pick up pollen.

8. Wash the stuffed, toys, blankets and comforters in hot water.

Uncontrolled allergies can cause asthma with coughing, wheezing and breathing difficulties. Consult a pediatrician if your child suffers from seasonal allergies.

  


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