Parent's Guide: Treating Summer Seasonal Allergies in Kids

Wyndly Care Team
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How do you control seasonal allergies in children?

Control seasonal allergies in children by limiting outdoor play during high pollen counts, ensuring they wash their hands and face after being outside, and using air purifiers indoors. Over-the-counter antihistamines or prescription medications can also help, as advised by a pediatrician or allergist.

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What Are Allergies?

Allergies are hypersensitive immune responses to substances that either enter or come into contact with the body. These substances, which are usually harmless, are known as allergens and can include certain foods, pollen, or pet dander.

Understanding Allergies

When a person with an allergy encounters an allergen, their immune system overreacts. The immune system mistakenly identifies the allergen as a threat and produces antibodies to neutralize it. This reaction leads to the release of chemicals like histamine, causing allergy symptoms.

Common Types of Allergies

There are several common types of allergies that children can suffer from:

  • Pollen allergies: Also known as hay fever or seasonal allergies, these are caused by an allergic response to outdoor pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds.
  • Food allergies: These are immune system reactions that occur after eating certain foods. Common examples include allergies to peanuts, milk, or shellfish.
  • Insect sting allergies: These occur when the immune system overreacts to the venom of an insect sting, such as from a bee or a wasp.
  • Pet allergies: These are allergic reactions to proteins found in the skin cells, urine, or saliva of pets, most commonly cats and dogs.

What Causes Allergies in Kids?

Allergies in kids are typically caused by the immune system's heightened sensitivity to harmless substances, like pollen or certain foods. The immune system mistakenly perceives these substances as threats, triggering an allergic reaction.

Allergy Causes

Several factors contribute to why some children develop allergies. One significant factor is genetics. If a child's parents or siblings have allergies, the child is more likely to develop them. Second, repeated exposure to allergens at an early age can also lead to developing allergies. For instance, early exposure to pollen or pet dander can result in seasonal allergies or pet allergies.

Environmental factors also play a role. Kids who grow up in overly sanitized environments may be more prone to allergies because their immune systems haven't been challenged enough to discern between harmful and harmless substances. Also, seasonal changes, particularly the onset of spring and summer, can trigger seasonal allergies in susceptible children.

Surprisingly, certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to the development of allergies in kids. For example, children who are not breastfed or are introduced to certain foods too early may be at a higher risk of developing food allergies. It's essential to understand these causes to effectively manage and treat your child's allergies.

How to Recognize Allergy Symptoms in Kids?

Recognizing allergy symptoms in kids involves observing for signs such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, and coughing. These signs can indicate that a child's immune system is reacting to an allergen.

Recognizing Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can vary from child to child. It's crucial to pay attention to symptoms that persist beyond the common cold's duration, which typically lasts for about a week. Chronic symptoms like a constantly runny nose, frequent bouts of sneezing, or persistent cough could be signs of an allergy. A child may also complain of itchy throat or eyes, which are common allergy symptoms. Frequent skin rashes or hives, stomach upset, or difficulty breathing can also indicate allergies. Observing and documenting these symptoms can help you and your child's doctor identify potential allergies.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, present with symptoms that can be similar to a common cold but last for an entire season. These symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and fatigue. Seasonal allergies occur in response to outdoor allergens like pollen and mold spores. They are more common during the spring and summer seasons but can also occur in fall. Knowing how to prevent seasonal allergies can help manage your child's symptoms.

Allergies vs. Colds: Knowing the Difference

Distinguishing between allergies and colds can be challenging as they have similar symptoms. However, colds usually last around one to two weeks and may include fever, which isn't a symptom of allergies. Allergies can last as long as the child is exposed to the allergen and typically don't cause fever. If your child's symptoms last more than a week or occur at the same time each year, it's more likely to be an allergy. Proper knowledge of the symptoms can aid in managing allergies at home and knowing when to seek professional help. Check out these tips on how to manage allergies at home.

How to Manage and Treat Allergies in Kids?

Managing and treating allergies in kids involve a combination of home remedies, over-the-counter (OTC) medication, and, in some cases, prescription medication or immunotherapy. The goal is to control symptoms and improve the child's quality of life.

Managing and Treating Allergies

The first step to manage and treat allergies is identifying triggers through allergy testing. Once known, you can take steps to avoid these allergens. OTC antihistamines can help relieve symptoms of allergies, and in more severe cases, prescription medication may be necessary. Regular cleaning of the home, particularly the child's bedroom, can also reduce allergen exposure. More tips for managing allergies can be found here.

How to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies can be particularly challenging because of the ubiquity of triggers like pollen and mold spores. OTC antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays can help control symptoms. Wearing sunglasses outdoors can protect the eyes from pollen. Regularly washing clothes and showering after being outdoors can also help reduce pollen exposure. Check out these tips for managing summer allergies.

Children’s Allergy Relief

Relieving a child's allergy symptoms can often be achieved with OTC medication. Antihistamines can help with sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes, while decongestants can help clear a stuffy nose. For skin allergies, creams and lotions can help soothe itching and rash. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

For long-term relief, sublingual immunotherapy may be an option. This treatment involves placing a tablet under the tongue that contains a small amount of the allergen. Over time, this can help the body build a tolerance to the allergen and reduce symptoms. Always consult with a healthcare professional to determine if this treatment is right for your child. Consider these suggestions for managing allergies while on vacation.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to flush food allergens out of your system?

To flush food allergens out of your system, stop eating the allergenic food immediately. Drink plenty of water to help your body process and eliminate the allergen. However, if symptoms persist or are severe, seek immediate medical attention. Allergen removal primarily depends on digestion and metabolism.

What is the best state to avoid allergies?

There isn't a definitive 'best' state for allergies as allergens vary across regions. However, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America regularly ranks cities based on pollen levels, medication use, and allergists. As per recent data, Denver, Colorado often ranks as a less allergenic city.

How to deal with allergy season?

Dealing with allergy season involves various strategies: monitoring local pollen forecasts, reducing outdoor activities when pollen counts are high, keeping windows closed, using air purifiers, bathing regularly to remove pollen from skin and hair, and taking antihistamines or nasal sprays as recommended by a healthcare provider.

When is allergy season in southern California?

In Southern California, allergy seasons can vary due to the region's unique climate. Tree pollen, particularly from oak and olive trees, peaks in the spring, typically from February to June. Grass pollen rises in late spring and early summer, while weed pollen is highest in the fall.

What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies in children?

Seasonal allergy symptoms in children include frequent sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and an itchy throat or ears. Some children may also experience coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. Symptoms typically coincide with the pollen seasons in spring and fall.

Can seasonal allergies make you feel sick?

Yes, seasonal allergies can make you feel sick. Symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose can mimic those of a cold, causing discomfort. Additionally, allergies can lead to sinus pressure and headaches, resulting in a feeling of general malaise or sickness.

What are the symptoms of summer allergies?

Summer allergy symptoms can include runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, sneezing, and fatigue. In severe cases, individuals may experience headaches, shortness of breath, and wheezing. These symptoms are typically triggered by allergens such as grass and weed pollen during the summer months.

What is the best allergy medicine for kids with seasonal allergies?

Over-the-counter antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Claritin) are typically recommended for kids with seasonal allergies. However, it's crucial to consult a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment option based on the child's age, symptoms, and overall health.

What is the best allergy medicine for summer?

The best allergy medicine for summer largely depends on your specific symptoms and their severity. Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Zyrtec or Claritin, can alleviate symptoms like sneezing and itching. Nasal sprays like Flonase may help with congestion. However, always consult a healthcare provider before use.

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