How to help children suffering from seasonal allergies
It may be feeling more like winter out today, but by the end of this week milder, drier weather may have children sniffling and sneezing as the pollen count rises.
Nurse practitioner Holly Zastudil says that about half the patients coming into her clinic right now are dealing with allergies, and many of them are children.
"Allergies can start anywhere from three years old to twelve years old, the peak being between 10 and 12 years old."
She says that parents should be on the lookout for warning signs. About 40% of children suffer from seasonal allergies.
"Just not being their normal self. Not playing normally. Not running around normally. Not wanting to do their normal activities," Zastudil said.
Zastudil says the key to beating allergies is keeping pollen out of the home in the first place.
"Have them change their clothes. Baths and showers are important and make sure they wash their hair before they go to sleep because hair can really hold onto those allergens too," Zastudil said.
Remember - anything that's been outside can carry pollen inside to your child.
"The allergen is in the dog’s hair and the kids hugs or kisses the dog they can get the allergen and start having those symptoms," Zastudil said.
If your kid must spend time outdoors on high pollen days have them put something between themselves and the allergens.
"Have your child pick out a really cool pair of sunglasses that they'll wear because this will prevent allergens from getting into their eyes," Zastudil said. "Make sure it's a color they like or a style they like because you want them to wear it to work."
If the pollen still causes problems for your child...saline rinses, nasal sprays, and over the counter medicine in fun flavors can help them feel better faster.
"I love all the fun flavors it comes in- bubble gum and grape and also orange."