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HomeHealthKidsTips for treating kids with hay fever

Tips for treating kids with hay fever


Tips for managing kids’ hay fever

Timing — Avoid going outside just after sunrise as well as after a hard rain shower or storm because pollen counts are at their worse at these times. While slow steady rain can improve conditions, hard showers often make it worse. The best time to head outside is in the evening, just before sunset. The pollen counts are lower and the wind is usually calm.

Bane of bounce houses — Avoid bounce houses, trampolines and even plastic slides. When kids play on these, static electricity builds up (watch their hair stand on end) and they suddenly attract pollen particles causing a hay fever reaction. “It’s a set up,” Gels says. “The kids jumping become giant magnets.”

Wash and irrigate — If you child has been playing outside and starts having allergy problems, wash their hands and wipe around their eyes as soon as they come inside. “When they blink, it pushes the pollen outside the eyes but then the palms grind it back in,” Gels says.
Use a saline irrigation for nose and eyes when they come in from outside. This means wash out the eyes and nose with saline eye drops and nasal spray. Buy the solution at any pharmacy. If you make your own saline solution, be sure to use bottled or sterile water.

Stock up on allergy medications — There are so many products — Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl — that are fairly effective for allergies with varying degrees of sedation. There are also many effective prescriptions from topical steroids to antihistamine eye drops. New this year is a nasal steroid and antihistamine combined. “The most difficult to treat is allergic conjunctivitis,” Gens says. “It’s easier to control symptoms in the nose and chest.”

Long-term desensitization — Allergy injections allow the immune system to see the allergen in a different way and can help combat reactions like hay fever. Injections can be 90 percent effective if the child is truly allergic and the course of shots is continued.

By Betsy Stein

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