Spring is here! The weather is warming up and flu season is almost over! This is the time of year for sun, fun, and relaxation. Unfortunately, as the snow begins to melt away and the flowers begin to bloom, we start to see influx of children suffering from runny noses and watery eyes.
The reason for the spike in allergy flare-ups in spring is due to the blooming trees, plants and flowers. Pollen and other products of nature get carried by the wind and end up in our nose, eyes, and lungs. When this happens our immune system reacts to the foreign elements and releases histamine. Histamine causes swelling and mucus production in the nose, redness and tearing in the eyes, and itching. More seriously, it can cause wheezing, excess mucus production, and swelling in the lungs. is going to go over some important tips and tricks to get through allergy season.
A Cold or Allergies?
Seasonal allergies and the common cold result in very similar symptoms – runny nose, sore throat, and cough. This can make it challenging for parents to know if their child needs to be evaluated by allergist.
One of the most important differences is the length of time of symptoms. Cold symptoms on average last an average of 10 to 14 days. If your child is suffering with symptoms for more than 14 days, it is important to have them evaluated by the pediatrician. Another important difference is the presence of a fever. Fever is rarely associated with seasonal allergies, however, is a common symptom of upper respiratory infections. Although watery, itchy eyes can occur as a result of a cold it isn’t as common. However, it is one of the hallmark symptoms of seasonal allergies. When in doubt, it is best to have your child evaluated by a doctor.
How to Prepare for Allergy Season
Make an appointment with your pediatrician now. If your child suffers from seasonal allergies and asthma, make sure you have the prescriptions you need before your child starts to experience symptoms. As the snow begins to melt and the landscape begins to blossom, your child’s symptoms will begin to intensify. Speak to your doctor about a plan to fight against allergies before the season starts as it can be stressful for both you and your child.
Stock up on supplies
Make sure you have the tools you need to fight against allergies including antihistamines, decongestants, combination antihistamine/decongestants, and cromolyn nasal spray check with your doctor before using this medication).
Get Out the Boogie Wipes. Allergy season can wreak havoc on your child’s nose. Instead of using tissues, I suggest Boogie Wipes. Boogie Wipes are made with saline to dissolve boogies (mucus) caused by the common cold and allergies. They are extra soft and restore moisture back into the skin. This helps to prevent dryness and cracking of the skin around the nose. It is an important and effective alternative to a dry tissue.
Katie Friedman, M.D., is a board certified pediatrician and co-founder of Forever Freckled.