Approximately 40 percent of children suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are different than year-round allergies because symptoms only occur during certain periods.
The symptoms for seasonal allergies show up at the same time every year and disappear in about four to ten weeks.
How can you tell the difference between a cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies? What steps can you take to help prevent them and make your child feel better?
• Spring allergies usually begin in March and may last through the summer
• Spring allergies are caused because of environmental changes. Pollen counts are higher during the spring
• Because of the nicer weather, children are more likely to be exposed to outdoor allergens, such as tree pollens, grasses and weeds
• Seasonal allergies usually develop by the time a child is ten years old. The symptoms peak when they are in their early twenties, and usually disappear by young adulthood
• Seasonal allergies do not usually develop in infants. Children need to be exposed to several pollen seasons in order to develop a reaction
• Seasonal allergies are sometimes hereditary. Children are more likely to develop them if their mother or father has had seasonal allergies
Symptoms of Spring Allergies:
• Lingering congestion that does not clear up
• Itchiness of the nose and throat
• Swollen, watery, itchy eyes and redness
• Sneezing and nasal drainage that is clear and watery
• Children can sometimes develop an ear infection, or inflammation in the ear
• Children can sometimes develop a rash that can appear anywhere on the body
• If a child has a fever or is complaining of body aches, those are usually signs of a cold or flu, not spring allergies
While there is no real cure for spring allergies, it’s possible to help prevent them and relieve symptoms. Uncontrolled allergies can make your child’s symptoms worst.
• Keep your home’s windows and doors closed, use the air conditioner whenever possible
• Keep your car’s windows closed and use the air conditioner
• Have your child shower at night in order to wash the pollen off before bedtime
• Make sure your child washes their hands properly after playing outside
• Children should avoid the outdoors when pollen levels are at their highest, between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
• Parents should schedule outdoor activities after 10 a.m.
Parents should always consult their child’s pediatrician. They can properly diagnose a child’s ailment and determine if medication or further testing is needed.
Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida (PCCSF) is a group of leading pediatric intensivists and hospitalists who are board-certified and fellowship-trained in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine. They currently operate the pediatric critical care unit (PICU) facility at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida. For more information, please visit www.pccsf.com or call (954) 454-5131.