If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there’s about a 40 percent chance that your kids will, too. That’s because, in addition to aggravating factors like pollution and increased chemical sensitivities, allergies have a big genetic component.
The good news is that doctors are more aware of childhood allergies and are recognizing them earlier and earlier. What used to be identified as an allergy at 2 years old can now be identified at 15 months or younger.
That means you can work with your doctor to make your children comfortable so they don’t have to sneeze their way through springtime. What’s more, there are plenty of ways to identify and treat allergies in children, and a lot of the tried-and-true methods that work for adults are effective for kids, too.
Is it Allergies or a Cold?
When your kid has the sniffles, there are a few tell-tale signs to distinguish between allergies and a cold. A big one is a fever, which won’t show up with allergies but can rear its head during a common cold or similar respiratory illnesses. Sneezing is probably the most recognizable sign of allergies, but look for dark circles under your kid’s eyes or watery eyes, which are also typical. If you and your children have the same allergies, check in on them when you’re feeling particularly congested. If your allergies are acting up, theirs probably are, too.
Curing and Preventing Allergies
Allergies are treated for comfort, since your children can become irritated and fussy, or have trouble sleeping. Doctors can give antihistamines such as Claritin or Benadryl to children, and kids’ allergies respond to nasal sprays quite well.
With children, however, preventive measures are key. Special anti-allergen cases for your children’s mattress and pillows offer dust resistance, and air filters are also popular for kids’ bedrooms. Keeping stuffed animals to a minimum will also keep dust mites at bay. The same goes for rugs and carpeting
Allergies Change with Age
Luckily, it’s possible to grow out of certain allergies. Years ago, doctors wouldn’t even bother testing for allergies in young children, opting instead to wait and see which ones resolved themselves naturally as kids grew older. Nowadays, doctors like to test for them early and then retest several years later to see if kids have grown allergic to different things or have lost their allergies completely. Tracking this type of progression can inform kids’ treatment and give parents reason to hope for a sniffle-free future.
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