Making Decisions About Home Care

Treating Seasonal Allergies In Kids: A Guide For Parents

by Mae Ferguson

If you have ever suffered from allergies, then you know just how miserable you feel when the pollen count rises and your eyes start running. Seeing your child suffer from the same symptoms can be heartbreaking. What can you do for them, and how should you treat their allergies? Take a look.

1. Start by keeping allergens away from your child.

The easiest and often the most effective way to reduce allergy symptoms in children is to limit their contact with allergens. This step is very important as limiting contact can keep the allergies from worsening over time. So how do you keep your child away from pollen when it's flying all over during pollen season? Here are a few tips:

  • Have playtime inside when the pollen count is high. Color together, have a dance party in the living room, or color with your kids instead of going outside.
  • Close the windows, and rely on your AC system to ventilate your home.
  • Keep shoes outside, and put clothing straight into the washing machine when your child comes inside.

2. Try an over-the-counter antihistamine.

If limiting contact with allergens does not give enough relief, then try giving your child an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine. Read the instructions on the label, and only give this medication if your child is old enough, as is specified on the bottle. Keep in mind that these medications can make kids a little sleepy. If your child's symptoms are manageable without medications in the daytime, you may want to give antihistamines only in the evening.

3. Visit an allergist.

If antihistamines sold over-the-counter are not cutting it, your next step should be to take your child to an allergist. An allergist will be able to do more in-depth testing than your child's pediatrician. They will identify exactly what your child is allergic to, which will make it easier for you to keep those allergens away from your child. They will then prescribe medications to help effectively manage symptoms. Many children benefit from antihistamine nasal sprays and stronger antihistamines that are only available with a prescription. 

It can be hard to watch your child struggle with allergy symptoms, but thankfully, there are ways you can help give them comfort. Start by limiting their contact with allergens that bother them, use over-the-counter antihistamines, and visit an allergist. Before long, your child will be feeling much better.

For more information about allergy treatment, consult your doctor.