Preparing for Seasonal Allergies
Spring is here and it’s a time when seasonal allergies can act up, especially as trees begin to
pollinate. Furthermore, changes in temperature and rainfall can make seasonal allergies even
worse. If your child has allergies, it’s important to be prepared for the spring season ahead.
Firstly, if you’re unsure if your child has allergies or not, it’s good to be aware of the common
signs. Symptoms can often feel like a common cold and include a runny and stuffy nose,
sneezing, sniffling, headaches, fatigue, eye irritation, coughing, itchiness, and rashes. If you
notice any of these, please call our office to make an appointment. Our pediatrician will
examine these symptoms for a diagnosis and decide if your child needs to be tested for asthma.
If your child has seasonal allergies, there are several options for management. Turning on the
air conditioner in the home and in the car can reduce exposure to pollen. It’s also helpful to
keep kids away from mold which can be found in dead leaves or decaying vegetation. Keep in
mind that if your child has allergies, it does not mean they need to or should stay indoors all
spring. Going outside for fresh air and to play is beneficial for children. However, if the grass is
being mowed or it’s very windy, those might be good times to keep them indoors.
After returning from outside, it’s best to change their clothes and shoes that might have pollen
on them. If you have pets that go outdoors, brush them off before bringing them back inside.
Limiting your child’s exposure to pollen is key. Make sure to wash towels and sheets regularly
and vacuum and clean any dust in the house to keep allergens away.
To help with congestion, over-the-counter nasal sprays and antihistamines are often
recommended. Antihistamines, like Benadryl, also help with itchy skin, hives, and rashes. We
strongly advise talking to our pediatrician first for the proper usage and dosage. If your child
experiences itchy or irritated eyes, over-the-counter eye drops for allergies can alleviate these
Although not all children with allergies have asthma, most children who have asthma have
allergies. Allergens can be common asthma triggers and it’s important to eliminate exposure to
them to prevent asthma attacks. Creating an asthma action plan is also beneficial. For tips on
this, check out this resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Lastly, it’s helpful to be able to discern between allergies and the common cold as the
symptoms can overlap. One difference between a cold and allergies is that the nasal secretions
tend to be thicker when it’s a cold. If there’s also a fever, it is normally a result of an infection
and never from allergies. Additionally, colds don’t usually last more than two weeks while
allergies can be an ongoing problem.
If you have any questions or concerns about allergies, asthma, treatment