5 tips to help your child survive seasonal allergies in 2021
A year into quarantine you are no doubt ready for spring and summer 2021. But for many of us, this is also allergy season. It can be especially hard to watch our children suffer with sniffling, sneezing, and coughing their way through these beautiful warm days.
Allergic rhinitis caused by pollen is referred to as "hay fever." Substances that come from grass, flowering plants, trees, and weeds cause the immune systems of allergy sufferers to release signal that lead to congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as problems like sinus pressure and allergic conjunctivitis (itchy, watery and red eyes). Unfortunately, this year, seasonal allergies might be worse than ever. In fact, 5.2 million children were diagnosed with hay fever in the past 12 months.
Factors like climate change and warmer temperatures, have increased pollen production over time. Seasons with warmer temperatures are longer, resulting in a higher concentration of pollen. Additionally, increasing levels of CO2 contribute to greenhouse effects which also correlates to a higher concentration of pollen production in the air.
Another factor impacting kids is that they
have quarantined for the past year, with limited times outdoors. With time outdoors limited by the pandemic
last summer, and with a gradual return
to regular routines, schedules, and activities, many parents are noticing their
children are sneezing, coughing, and rubbing their eyes more than in past allergy seasons. Spending much of the
past year indoors may have made them more sensitive to allergies. This phenomenon can occur with time
spent away from an allergy trigger, leading to more robust allergy symptoms
Here are 5 more tips for surviving the allergy season:
If you have pets, keep them in the house on high-pollen days. Pollen may stick to their fur and end up in your nose.
Pet fur, itself, is not an allergen, but it can hold and collect dander, saliva, and allergens like dust and pollen. These allergens can transfer from your pet's fur to hard surfaces or through the air during daily household activities like dusting or vacuuming. Once in the air, the particles can remain over time.
1. Change your AC filters regularly and consider getting a HEPA air filter to strain allergens out of the air in your home.
2. Use over-the-counter allergy medicines to relieve symptoms: antihistamines to relieve your itchy nose and sneezing, and decongestants to get rid of your stuffy nose.
3. On high pollen days, change your clothes when coming in from outside.
4. Keep windows and doors closed to reduce pollen entering the house.
To make an appointment with Dr. Jason Casselman, contact one of Reid Health's three convenient locations. His office is currently accepting new patients. Patients can also request an appointment online.