Is your little one sneezing and sniffling? Dealing with itchy eyes and a runny nose? While your first guess might be a common cold, it’s important to remember that seasonal allergies abound this time of year.
During spring, trees and other seed-bearing plants release high levels of pollen spores into the air that can be carried by the wind for miles. Pollen in itself is a harmless substance, but if your child has seasonal allergies, their body mistakes the pollen for something dangerous and releases histamines to fight off the perceived threat. It’s this immune response that causes symptoms.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose and/or throat
- Nasal congestion
- Red, watery eyes
A child can develop seasonal allergies at any age, though they will usually be diagnosed by age 10. Their symptoms will occur at the same time each year in response to the specific allergy trigger. A medical professional can help diagnose their allergen based on when symptoms develop. In general:
- Trees pollinate in the spring.
- Grasses release pollen in late spring and summer.
- Ragweed produces pollen in the fall.
- Mold spores can cause seasonal allergies during the spring, summer, and fall.
If you’re concerned about seasonal allergies in your child, head to PedsNow. Our provider can perform a physical exam and likely make a diagnosis based on the pattern of their symptoms. If more tests are needed, we can refer you to a local allergist.
We’ll help you determine your child’s allergy trigger, so you can minimize their exposure and prevent symptoms. You may need to keep the windows closed, opt for air conditioning, and stay indoors when pollen counts are high. Another simple prevention technique is to make sure your child washes their hands and changes clothes after playing outside. Medicines, such as decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal rinses, can also offer relief.