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Fall Allergies and Your Child
Sep 17th, 2010 Headlines

We’re smack dab in the middle of ragweed season, which means millions of kids who suffer from seasonal allergies will be heading back to school with runny noses and watery eyes. This can interfere with attention and concentration. So it’s important for parents to equip their kids with what they need to keep their symptoms at a minimum.

For kids with mild symptoms, an over-the-counter antihistamine may be all they need. One of the most popular, Benadryl or its generic equivalent diphenhydramine, is quite effective at treating allergy symptoms, but it can also make children drowsy. And the last thing you want your kids doing as school is nodding off. So talk to your pediatrician about using a non-sedating over-the-counter antihistamine, like loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine(Zyrtec).

Another good treatment for seasonal allergies is a nasal steroid spray. Some pediatricians prefer this to an oral antihistamine because it works locally in the nose and isn’t absorbed into the bloodstream. Nasal steroids are by prescription only and can be given once a day for the entire allergy season. These sprays are very effective at treating runny or stuffy noses and itchy, watery eyes.

If your child’s symptoms are limited to her eyes, you can try an allergy eye drop. Ask your pediatrician which one she recommends.

If nasal steroids, antihistamines, and eye drops don’t work, there are other prescription allergy medications that your doctor may consider. Allergy shots can also be very effective.

If your child has seasonal allergies, reducing his exposure to pollen is crucial. Keep the windows in your car and house closed and limit outdoor playtime on high pollen days. Your child should also bathe at night so that he doesn’t bring the pollen in his hair and on his body to bed with him.



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