‘Tis the Season for Allergies!
Welcome to Chicago’s spring, or lack-there-of. With the wild swings in weather, we are seeing a lot of symptoms of seasonal allergies. Is it a cold? Is it Covid-19? Is it Seasonal allergies? The usual symptoms of allergies include sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy or red eyes, sore throat, itchy throat or itchy ears. They do NOT include fever. Some children sniff, cough, or clear their throats a lot when allergies are bad.
Seasonal allergies can get better or worse over time or from one season to another, and it is not unusual to experience allergies for the first time at any age! They are also hereditary, so if you as a parent suffered from allergies at some point in life, do not be surprised if your child is experiencing allergies. Seasonal allergies usually don’t show up until the child 2 years or older (though indoor allergies like mold or dust mites can appear earlier).
Here are ways to treat Seasonal Allergies:
Nasal rinses: saline spray or rinse in the nostrils can clear out the allergens inside the nostrils to get rid of any allergens/pollens.
Steroid nasal sprays (Flonase/Nasacort): these are great to help treat seasonal allergies and clear out allergens out of the nostrils along with decreasing inflammation of the nostrils. If your child will tolerate a nasal spray, this is considered first line treatment for allergies.
Antihistamines: Daily allergy medications such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Claritin can be super helpful to help decrease allergy symptoms. These can take 1-2 weeks to start working. Benadryl can be used for nighttime, but can cause drowsiness.
Decongestants: Medicines that contain pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) were shown to be potentially fatal for kids under 2 years old and taken off the market for kids under 4. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using them in children under 6 years old.
Prevention of seasonal allergies: Have your child wash their hands, hair, and face prior to bedtime to wash off any allergens that are sitting on their skin or hair from the day. Frequently change pillowcase. Use air purifiers in the home if your child has bad allergies; also closing windows and using air conditioning can help if allergies are acting up.
If your child has wheezing, fever, or is acting ill please call our office. If your child has difficult breathing you should call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.