There are tiny disturbances – small sounds that cut into your thoughts – that make an otherwise peaceful day one groan heavier. Spring time is here. The grass is green and the flowers are blooming, but you barely have time to drink in the visual when you hear your child sneeze. A beat. A pause. And, finally, a moment of silence between you and your child you would later recognize as the calm before the snotty storm. The split-second right before you’re scrambling for the tissues and the Claritin, sealing your kid into a fate they never stood a chance of resisting.
Chances are, you’ve hit allergy season. Your child is suddenly sneezy, and it’s time to tackle the spring achoo’s. But here at McGruff, we’ll help you become the type of parent that turns nose-wiping into a performance art. Here’s how you can start.
First, know what you’re up against.
Identify whether your child is experiencing allergies, or if they are suffering from a cold. Unlike a cold, with allergies, nasal fluid is clear and is more liquid in texture. If their sneezing is featured alongside throat and nose itchiness, and puffy red eyes, you’ve probably got allergies on your hands.
Your enemy is pollen. And…other things.
The biggest trigger for allergies during this season is pollen. Mostly because they rise like phantoms, and float through the air. They feel nearly inescapable. Shutting your windows and washing your clothes and sheets can help keep the pollen outside of the home. If your child wants to go outside and play, be aware of pollen peak times. The amount of pollen tends to be at its highest point between 5 and 10 in the morning, so schedule your child’s playdate with nature a little later in the day. If they must be outside early, be sure to equip them with sunglasses and lightweight hats. It’s also helpful to check the National Allergy Bureau to see the pollen count in your area.
Evaluate your own history with allergies.
Are you allergic to anything? If you are, a fun fact to know is that parents pass on their allergies to their kids. However, they don’t inherit any specific allergen from their parent, just the capability of becoming allergic. So, be sure to keep track of what specific things trigger allergies in your child, or bring them to a doctor to get tested.
Many allergy medications have been tested and proved safe for children. Allegra, Zyrtec, and Claritin have child-friendly versions, and are non-drowsy and work effectively in fighting common allergens. A nasal spray also works well to combat drainage, as well as antihistamine drops which reduces eye itchiness. If you want to be extra on top of things, investing in an air humidifier might also be a good choice. Be sure to administer medications throughout the day, and before bed. For as allergy season lingers, you still have evils to fight in the world.
While allergies may not seem as pressing of an issue as an actual sickness, the impacts of allergies are more residual. If your child is uncomfortable – preoccupied with itching their eyes and wilting from congestion – they might not have the capacity to focus in school, play outside with their friends, or sleep well at night. With allergies, children are also more prone to sinus and ear infections. And if they have asthma, leaving allergies untreated will have a directly negative effect on that as well. Take preventative action with the tools we’ve given you, and make sure your child is fully able to take on the elements.