Oh My, Allergies!
By Nichole Tucker, CPNP at Annapolis Pediatrics
Its allergy season!! As you may have noticed, the grass is green, the flowers have bloomed and everything is coated in pollen. With this, many children are showing signs of seasonal allergies. Symptoms and severity of seasonal allergies can vary child to child. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include itchy/watery/irritated eyes, sneezing, watery nasal discharge, congestion, coughing, itchy or sore throat, throat clearing, dark circles under the eyes (called allergic “shiners”) or a transverse crease across the nose (secondary to the “allergic salute”). Usually seasonal allergies become present in children two years of age and older. Fever is NOT a usual symptom with seasonal allergies, therefore If your child is younger than two years old or has fever with the symptoms listed above, it is always a good idea to check in with your Annapolis Pediatrics provider.
There is no true “cure” for allergies, though symptoms can be managed with some easy coping mechanisms and possible use of antihistamines. Remember, when a child has been exposed to allergens, we want to remove those allergens from around the face as quickly as possible, to avoid continued histamine response. When your child comes in from play, it is always important to have them wash their hands, blow their nose and wipe their face. (If it is close to bath time, it’s best to go ahead and have them take their bath to fully remove all allergens). Remember to try and keep windows closed and strip bed sheets frequently to eliminate allergens.
Visit our walk-in clinic at our Annapolis office (Monday to Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM) to see the next available provider who can quickly assess the severity of a possible allergy and recommend the next steps in treatment.
Many children’s allergy medications are now sold over the counter (OTC). Always talk with your pediatrician before starting any medication for the first time. Some OTC allergy options are: Children’s Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Xyzal, Flonase (nasal spray), Alaway and Zaditor (eye drops). Remember, you can also buy generic as they have the same active ingredients!
Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any concerns regarding your child’s health! We wish you a happy and healthy spring!