Spring’s longer days and warm breezes may be bringing more than you’re bargaining for if you or your children suffer from seasonal allergies. The itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and mouth breathing associated with seasonal allergies, often called hay fever, are an unfortunate part of spring for many.
While there is no cure, there are some simple things you can do to help your kids avoid exposure to the allergens – such as mold spores and tree and grass pollen – and to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms often associated with them:
- Over-the-counter antihistamines are some of the best defenses you have against seasonal allergies. Allergists advice starting them early, even before allergy symptoms start if you know you or your child suffers from hay fever, to get the biggest bang for your buck. You should talk with your doctor before giving any medication to your children.
- As tempting as it is to throw open your windows, leave them shut to keep out the tree and grass pollen blowing in the spring breeze, especially in the mornings when pollen counts are their highest.
- Regularly replace air filters in your home to eliminate dust, pollen and mold.
- Check local weather reports to monitor local pollen counts. Choose indoor activities when pollen counts are high, which unfortunately, is typically on dry, warm days.
- Make your home a shoe-free zone. Leave shoes at the door when you arrive home so you don’t track the nasty offenders into your home.
- Change your kids’ clothes when they come in from playing outside.
- Bathe and wash kids’ hair daily to keep allergens out.
- Include salmon and yogurt in their diet. Doctors have found that an omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon may lessen allergy symptoms and possibly prevent hay fever thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. They also believe that a probiotic found in yogurt may lessen allergy symptoms. Look for yogurt containing l. casei.
- Avoid using humidifiers since high levels of humidity promote mold growth.
Following these simple tips will go a long way in helping your kids’ avoid nasty allergens and to enjoy the long-awaited warm spring days ahead.