Children and Allergies

NOW: Children and Allergies
Milwaukee -

It's spring allergy season and Dr. Kevin Dahlman of Aurora Health Care wants parents to know that how their children react and should be treated for allergies is very different from adults.

The biggest trigger for allergies is pollen. Tiny grains are released into the air by trees, grasses and weeds.

The higher the pollen count, the worse the allergies.

CBS 58 Ready Weather will be tracking pollen counts on the news.

Allergy symptoms can include sneezing, itchy nose or throat, nasal congestions, runny noses and coughing, many of the same symptoms of a cold.

Other indicators are itchy, watery or red eyes, which is called allergic conjunctivitis.

Cold symptoms usually build over time, usually don’t last more than 14 days and typically occur in winter months.

Many kids will feel very fatigued from their allergies which can lead to poor concentration in school or learning problems.

Also, they may not want to participate in school activities or sports because they just don’t feel well.

Kids with allergies are more likely to have ear infections and sinus infections, too.

If your child already has asthma, uncontrolled allergies can make asthma worse, which can be dangerous. 

Dr Dahlman says parents should try and avoid your child’s allergy triggers as much as possible.

Obviously, if your child is allergic to pollen or trees or things that are outside where they’re playing, it’s still important for your child to play outside. After they come inside, try to keep your windows closed and use the air conditioner to keep some of that pollen out. Give your child a bath or shower before bedtime to wash the allergens off of them.

There are also many over-the-counter and prescription options to help children with severe allergies.

Antihistamine/decongestants combine the effects of both drugs.

Nasal spray decongestants relieve congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages faster than oral decongestants without some of the side effects. 

Steroid nasal sprays reduce inflammation and are the preferred initial treatment. Only two, Nasacort and Flonase, are currently available over the counter. Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can help prevent hay fever by stopping the release of histamine before it can trigger allergy symptoms.

Eye drops relieve itchy, watery eyes. Ketotifen is available over-the-counter.

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