What are seasonal allergies, and how can you treat them?
As a parent, you may be worried about seasonal allergies and how they can affect your child's health. Seasonal allergies, also known as "hay fever" or "seasonal allergic rhinitis," can cause discomfort and make your child feel unwell during certain times of the year.
These allergies occur when trees, grasses, and weeds release pollen particles into the air. When your child's immune system detects these particles, it sees them as invaders and releases chemicals like histamine to defend against them. This process causes allergy symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes.
It's important to remember that seasonal allergies are common and can affect anyone, even if they've never experienced them before. The type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms will occur. For example, if your child is allergic to tree pollen, they may experience symptoms from April through June.
The good news is that there are many ways to manage seasonal allergies and help your child feel better. Over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and decongestants can provide relief, and lifestyle changes like keeping windows closed during peak allergy season and showering after spending time outdoors can also help. If these medications don't provide sufficient relief or if a child requires multiple medications, the doctor may recommend seeing an allergist. An allergist can determine if allergy shots (immunotherapy) would be beneficial.
If you're concerned about your child's seasonal allergies, talk to their doctor for advice and guidance. Taking proactive steps to manage their allergies can help your child enjoy the changing seasons without the discomfort of allergy symptoms.