With the return of spring each year comes the return of hay fever, and children are not immune to this pesky seasonal irritant so check out these Signs and Treatments of Hay Fever in Children.
Though the symptoms are quite easy to identify, deciding whether it is hay fever, and what allergen is causing it, can be rather tricky.
Fortunately, there are ways to clarify this, which will help you identify the best preventative measures and treatments to alleviate your child’s hay-fever symptoms.
What are the symptoms that suggest my child has hay-fever?
The most common symptoms of hay-fever include sneezing and coughing, as well as a runny or blocked nose, with itchy or watery eyes.
Other symptoms can include itchiness in the throat, around the nose and ears, and a loss of smell.
More painful symptoms include headaches, earache, tiredness, and pain in the forehead and temples.
The best way to tell if it is hay-fever and not another issue is to determine whether symptoms are being caused by exposure to pollen.
To do this, it helps to be familiar with hay-fever triggers.
What is triggering my child’s hay-fever?
Hay-fever is typically triggered by pollen.
This means that it’s very likely your runny nose and itchy eyes are a symptom of hay-fever if the symptoms are occurring around times of increased pollen in the air.
The pollen season falls between late March and the month of September.
During this time, the country is subject to tree pollen from March to May, followed by the particularly tenacious grass pollen in May and June, and finally, weed pollen that takes the pollen season from late June to September.
In those with hay-fever, when certain triggers meet the body’s immune system, they are mistaken for a harmful substance, and so the body kicks into gear to fight off a viral or bacterial threat that doesn’t exist.
These triggers can range from pollen and dust mites, to animal fur and mold spores.
The antibodies your body produces will respond to the harmless pollen by releasing things like histamine into your system.
This is why hay-fever makes the eyes water and the nose run, symptoms that may remind many of having a cold.
How to be sure your child is suffering from hay-fever
Though the symptoms of hay-fever may look like the signs of a cold or other infection, there are ways to be sure it is hay-fever your child is suffering from.
As well as being seasonal, meaning hay-fever symptoms will suddenly be stronger in the spring, the pollen count is particularly high in the morning, getting gradually lower throughout the day.
So if symptoms seem to hit your child hardest on the school run before getting less severe as the day goes on, it might well be hay-fever.
What are the best treatments for a child’s hay-fever?
If your child’s hay-fever is seasonal, the allergen will be pollen.
To minimize unnecessary exposure to pollen, it is best to avoid activities that lead to increased exposure, like grass mowing, which disturbs vast amounts of pollen in the air.
With pollen count information now widely available, it is possible to plan around windy days and stay indoors to avoid the worst of it.
As well as this, having showers right after outdoor activities can wash away stray pollen on the body that might cause symptoms to persist indoors.
If hay-fever is perennial, occurring year-round, house dust mites are likely to be the allergen involved.
To counteract this, consider washing bedding and soft plush toys at high temperatures to eliminate the common pests.
Dust mite covers are also available to help minimize their prevalence, while certain vacuum cleaners come with the power and attachments to help eradicate dust mite allergens from carpets.
As well as these precautionary measures, there are many medications available to help alleviate systems, with some syrups and tablets specifically tailored to young children.
Many of these medications are available over the counter at a pharmacy, though a doctor can help clarify the best option.
Check out these articles for healthy advice; 7 Ways to get a Jump on Pollen This Allergy Season, 5 Fuss-Free Ways to Give your Family a Healthier Lifestyle and Ways to Calm Eczema Symptoms in Babies.