As spring blooms and children head outdoors for sports, activities, and fun, seasonal allergies can cramp your child’s enjoyment.
Here are some helpful hints for parents that can help ease runny noses and red, itchy eyes.

Can you really do anything to prepare for allergy season?

While there is no cure for allergies, there are steps you can take to ensure your child can enjoy the outdoors like other children, such as:

• Reduce allergens in the home
Vacuum weekly, dust, and make sure to remove molds. Encourage everyone to remove their shoes when they enter the house so that they don’t track in pollen. Hang laundry to dry inside. With our rapid drying times, it’s tempting to put all your laundry out on the washing line, but when pollen abounds, hang those clothes and sheets inside where pollen won’t stick to them. Oh, and don’t let the dogs, who’ve been playing outside, up on your bed where they can deposit pollen.

• Have antihistamines or other allergy medications on hand to treat intermittent symptoms.
Some children may need to take these medications every day. Once in the blood, these medications treat the common symptoms of allergies, such as runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing.

• Watch the pollen count and plan outdoor activities when pollen counts are low.

What about over-the-counter medications that can help kids?

Over-the-counter antihistamines can help reduce common symptoms seen with allergies. They do this by protecting against the immune response that results from exposure to allergens, blocking the release of histamines and other substances released from allergy cells.

What about using honey to combat allergies?

Our friends at Mayo Clinic share that, while honey has been anecdotally reported to lessen allergy symptoms, the results haven’t been consistently duplicated in clinical studies.

How can you tell if it is a cold or allergies?

It is often tough to tell the difference between allergies and colds, as symptoms can be very similar, but watery and itchy eyes are often seen with allergies. Colds often have an associated sore throat, and can present with fever and body aches.
Should kids stay inside more during allergy season?

While kids should not be restricted from playing outdoors, taking preventive measures, such as giving allergy medications before going outside to play and watching the pollen count, can help reduce severe allergy symptoms.

What are the triggers to watch out for during the season?

Common spring allergens include tree pollens, grass pollen, mild spores and dust mites. Right now in Tucson, we have lots of olive, mulberry, mesquite, sweet acacia and palo verde pollen, which can cause problems for some people. Grasses will become more of an issue toward the end of April and into the summer.

When is it time to see the pediatrician?

See a pediatrician when allergy symptoms are not well-controlled by over-the-counter medications or the reduction of exposure to allergy triggers. Those with asthma who are triggered by allergies should also see their pediatrician.

If you need a pediatrician for your child, please call TMCOne at (520) 324-4900 to establish care today.

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