If you observe the following symptoms, talk to your pediatrician immediately to determine whether your child has a cold or is actually suffering from seasonal allergies.
- runny nose
- watery eyes
- ear pain
Seasonal allergies have some added symptoms:
- itchy throat
- itchy skin
- itchy, watery eyes
- itchy, runny nose (mucus is usually clear)
It is important not to diagnose your little one yourself. Also, do not self-medicate or leave your toddler untreated believing that it will get better.
When allergies are left untreated, it can result in colds, ear infections, and other secondary infections and can cause a great deal of suffering. Congestion can lead to lack of proper sleep and increased fatigue. Allergies can also cause sinus pain and even headaches.
Allergy testing may be performed to determine whether your toddler is allergic to any environmental allergens. Your pediatrician may refer you to a pediatric allergy specialist for additional evaluations and treatments.
If the allergen has been identified through testing, an important step to avoid pain, and headaches are to manage the allergy symptoms.
The best way to ease allergic reactions or episodes is to avoid the allergens that trigger the symptoms. Here are some tips that can be easily implemented and help your toddler.
Outdoor allergies can be caused by tree pollen, grass pollen, ragweed pollen, mold spores, and others. If you find your child reacts more when outside, tell your pediatrician.
There are also a few steps that your pediatrician may recommend and that you can take to help your toddler. Here are the following steps:
1) Limit the child’s exposure to outdoor allergens - especially during peak allergy periods. Check out The Weather Channel’sdaily Allergy Trackerto see when your child should stay indoors.
2) Have your family remove their shoes upon entering your home to limit the amount of pollen and other allergens tracked inside. Clean the shoes.
3) Wash your child’s hands immediately after outside play.
4) When you have no access to handwashing during outdoor play (such as the park), bring a damp cloth or rag and wipe the child’s hands and face regularly to remove allergens.
5) Bathe your child to rinse away allergens.
6) Wash their clothing in hot water and their outerwear regularly. Dry jackets in the dryer to remove any remaining irritants.
7) Keep windows shut tight at all times to limit the pollen that can blow in. Use air conditioners to keep the temperature mild. Purchase special HEPA filters and change them regularly.
8) If you have dogs, bathe them. It will remove the allergens they may carry in their fur.
9) Ask your pediatrician if your child should start on a nose spray, like saline to flush the sinuses. Your toddler may need a prescription.
10) If your child is still suffering after taking these precautions, consider discussing with your pediatrician about bringing your toddler to an allergist.
What else can you do at home?
1) Use a HEPA filtered vacuum to remove allergens inside the home. Vacuum daily or every other day.
2) Purchase a HEPA air purifier such as Molekuleor Air Doctor. HEPA filters trap pollutants and allergens from the air. Not to mention pet dander, dust, and other immune triggers.
3) Use mattress and pillow covers to eliminate pollen and spores.
4) Wash sheets and pillowcases in hot water at least every week.
5) Remove curtains and use shades or blinds in the child's room to eliminate any materials that allergens could attach onto.
6) Take the carpet out of your child’s room. A carpet can harbor lots of dust, pollen, and spores that would aggravate your child while playing in their room and while sleeping at night.
Allergies may be common, but they can be brutal on your little one’s immune system. As we’ve learned, they can result in fatigue, irritability, drowsiness, and other more common allergy symptoms.
Help your child by protecting them from the allergen altogether. Again, talk to your pediatrician, do not try to self-diagnose and self-medicate.
A healthy child is a child who can happily learn and grow.
If you want more information on what you can do to help your child with seasonal allergies? Connect with us and we’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
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Willowdale Children's Academy is a child care agency located in Chester County, PA, specialized in early learning with schools in Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Avondale, and West Chester, PA. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, after school care, and summer camps.