When Fall Allergies Strike
School is back in session and your kids are coming home with more than just homework. Sniffles and sneezing, scratchy throats and itchy eyes — all point to fall allergies. Up to 40% of children in the U.S. have nasal allergies.1
A trip to the pediatrician can help determine if your child’s symptoms are due to allergies in general, and allergy testing can identify specific allergens.2
Seasonal allergies are not just limited to springtime. Hay fever can be triggered by plants such as ragweed and tumbleweed that release tiny grains of pollen in the fall.1,3
As your child spends more time indoors, whether it’s in school or at home, there are other allergens they come into contact with more frequently that can contribute to allergy symptoms.4
Some indoor allergens include:
- Dust mites (a microscopic insect that lives in bedding, sofas and carpets)
- Pet fur, skin, feathers or saliva
- Latex in rubber gloves, toys, balloons or elastic found in clothing 3,4
There is no surefire way for your child to avoid allergens when they are outdoors or at school, but there are a few things you can do to help ease the impact of fall allergies.
- Use air conditioners and keep windows closed in cars and at home to limit pollen exposure.
- Children should avoid playing in piles of dead leaves if they have mold allergies.
- Reduce mold growth in your home; fix leaky plumbing, remove bathroom carpets and keep indoor humidity under control.
- Vacuum upholstered furniture and wash linens weekly. Other bedding should be washed every one to two weeks in hot water.
- Limit stuffed animals to the bedroom.
- Replace pillows every two to three years.
- Use special covers on pillows, mattresses and comforters to keep dust mites out.2,3,4
Avoiding triggers is the ideal for keeping allergy symptoms at bay, but it takes time to see an improvement.3
If you find that your child is still suffering from allergy symptoms despite best efforts to avoid triggers, a trip to the pediatrician for allergy testing or prescription medication may be the best solution. Also, check in with your local pharmacist before stocking up on over-the-counter drugs; he or she will be able to guide you in finding the best options to fit your child’s needs and answer any questions you may have about them.
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- HealthDay: Easing Your Child’s Allergies. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159389.html. Accessed 7/31/16.
- Doctorsthatdo.org: Sorting Out Seasonal Allergies. Available at: http://doctorsthatdo.org/sorting-seasonal-allergies. Accessed 7/31/16.
- UpToDate: Patient information: Trigger avoidance in allergic rhinitis. Available at: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/trigger-avoidance-in-allergic-rhinitis-beyond-the-basics?view=print. Accessed 7/31/16
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Seasonal Allergies in Children. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/allergies-asthma/pages/Seasonal-Allergies-in-Children.aspx. Accessed 7/31/16.
Posted on Thu, September 1, 2016
by Health Mart