This morning it snowed. Again. It seems a little odd to be thinking about spring allergies, but anyone who has a kid who suffers from them knows they’re coming very soon!
My son (who’s almost three) has allergies. He has all sorts of seasonal allergies, in addition to dairy, soy, and cat allergies. Last year we went to a pediatric allergist and had him tested. He takes over-the-counter allergy medication that seems to help with most of his nasal allergy symptoms. Yet still there are times when he’s a stuffy, sniffling, and sneezing bundle of allergy misery.
Even though I’ve learned quite a bit about kids’ allergies during the past two years, I am still finding out new things. Here are a bunch of important and/or fascinating facts that I’ve learned recently:
1. Allergies are actually the third most common chronic disease in kids under 18.
2. If symptoms show up as soon as your kid is exposed to an allergen, are triggered whenever seasons change, and last indefinitely or as long as the triggering allergen is around, then your kid probably has allergies and not a cold.
3. Many people refer to seasonal allergies as “hay fever.” These allergies are caused by the body’s reaction to types of pollen found in trees, grass, flowers, or weeds. If an allergy sufferer is exposed to these sorts of pollens, he or she may start to sneeze, get a runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy skin, or hives.
4. If a child has two parents who both suffer from allergies, that kid has a 75 percent chance of having allergies. If only one parent is allergic, or if relatives on just one side of the family have allergies, then the kid has about a 50 percent probably of developing allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. (In this case, I think that my son just got freakishly unlucky since neither my husband nor I have any allergies.)
5. Never give an over-the-counter allergy medicine with diphenhydramine to a child under the age of six. Similarly, allergy medicines shouldn’t be used to sedate or make a child sleepy.
6. Some oral allergy medicines may cause excitability or nervousness, particularly in children. Others cause drowsiness.
7. Some oral allergy medicines are available in different dosage strengths. Parents should read the Drug Facts label carefully to find the appropriate child dosing information and contact a healthcare professional with any questions or as directed.
8. There are two basic types of allergy medicines, antihistamines and nasal allergy symptom controllers. They both work — in different ways — to reduce the effects of chemicals released by the body called histamines.
9. Allergies are responsible for nearly 17 million doctors per year, mostly during the spring and fall months, when seasonal allergies typically occur.
10. Nasal allergy medications should not be used to treat a sinus infection, asthma, or cold symptoms.
To learn more about allergies and allergy medications, check out more from OTCSafety.
What have been your experiences with seasonal allergies?
As a member of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program, I received compensation for this post but all opinions are my own.