Is it a cold, or seasonal allergies? As parents, it can be difficult to diagnose your child’s symptoms, especially when they seem to appear out of the blue. Unfortunately, it’s easy to confuse a common cold and seasonal allergies in children, although there are some tell-tale signs it’s allergies your child is dealing with. If you’re wondering whether or not your child is suffering from seasonal allergies, here are five indicators to look out for.
Seasonal allergies, sometimes referred to as hay fever, occur when an overly sensitive immune system reacts to particles it believes are harmful.
Seasonal allergies, unlike perennial allergies or pet allergies, only occur during certain times of the year. While some people think of seasonal allergies as only happening in the spring, seasonal allergies are also common in the summer and fall. Seasonal allergens are typically caused by pollen from plants. These may include different types of trees, grasses, and weeds.
When your child comes into contact with any of these allergens, via the eyes, nose or mouth, their body goes into defense mode and tries to get rid of the particles. This is when the sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion and other symptoms begin.
The common symptoms of seasonal allergies in children are:
These symptoms are the first signs that might make you think that something is wrong. Because they are so similar to cold symptoms, it is important to look out for other signs of seasonal allergies in children.
As mentioned earlier, seasonal allergies in children are often confused with a common cold. Both a cold and allergies have similar symptoms and tend to occur at the same times of the year.
Let’s imagine that you notice your child develops a “cold” every March. They are sneezing frequently and have constant nasal congestion. But, the cold doesn’t seem to go away, even after three weeks! Well, in this case, it might not be a cold after all, but rather seasonal allergies to tree pollen, which are quite prevalent during the early spring months.
In our example above, the child has allergies for over three weeks. When it comes to deciphering between a cold and allergies, it’s important to take into account the duration of the symptoms. While colds last between seven and 10 days, seasonal allergies can go on for weeks. Do your best to monitor their symptoms. If your child’s symptoms last longer than two weeks, it might be a good idea to get a doctor or allergist’s professional opinion.
Pay attention to see if your child is constantly rubbing their eyes or nose as this can be a sign of irritation. If they are spending a lot of time outdoors, they may be inhaling certain allergens and triggering their symptoms. When the allergens enter the eyes, mouth or nose, they can make them feel itchy. In some cases, contact with the skin causes additional itchiness and irritation.
If your child experiences itchiness as a result of seasonal allergies, they will most likely express their discomfort vocally. If they complain every time they play outside, it might be a sign of an allergy to pollen, grass or weeds. In order to avoid contact with allergens, have your child constantly wash their hands. This way, if they do touch surfaces covered with pollen and then touch their faces, they won’t make matters worse.
Nasal congestion due to seasonal allergies can keep your child up at night. If your child is having trouble sleeping and is noticeably more tired than normal, they might be suffering from seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, poor sleep can affect them significantly in school and in other activities as well. One natural remedy for improved sleep is the use of essential oils. Diffuse lavender or peppermint essential oils while they sleep. Not only does lavender promote better sleep, it can also reduce inflammation in the blood vessels in their nose, relieving congestion and making it easier for them to breathe.
Seasonal allergies make it difficult for day-to-day tasks to get done without interruptions. If you notice that your child is having a hard time staying focused doing certain activities, such as sports practice or doing homework, it may be a sign of seasonal allergies.
Combined with the fatigue from little sleep, poor concentration can negatively affect their performance in school. Talk to your child’s teacher and ask if your child is falling asleep or yawning often in class. Monitor their grades for any changes in their performance at certain times of the year.
Another sign of seasonal allergies in children is behavioral problems. If your child is typically well behaved, but has recently shown a drastic change in behavior, they might be suffering from allergies. Not being able to sleep at night due to allergies can also make them more moody than normal.
Treating seasonal allergies can be a complicated task. There are a number of medications and natural remedies available to help keep allergy symptoms controlled. For many parents, antihistamines are a common choice. They block the chemical that triggers the symptoms, helping your child to avoid them altogether. Decongestants can reduce inflammation in the nasal passages and make it easier for your child to breathe. In addition, eye drops can be used to tackle any itchiness or redness of the eyes.
While all these treatments provide short-term allergy relief, it may be a good idea to consider immunotherapy. Unlike the others, this is a long-term option that can help desensitize your child’s body to the triggering allergens. As they grow older, their allergy symptoms will be reduced, or may even disappear altogether.
Seasonal allergies in children can be treated using this method because it focuses on the root of the problem: the immune system. Typically, immunotherapy treatment consists of allergy shots or drops. Children tend to have a hard time with these two options, as allergy shots are painful and have to be done frequently, while allergy drops have an off-putting taste and may cause stomach discomfort.
Fortunately, there is a more natural, convenient and non-invasive way to help your child overcome seasonal allergies! ShotFree Allergy’s Transdermal Allergy Cream is easy to use, pain-free, and best of all, saves you time and money. No more missing soccer or piano practice to go to the doctor for allergy shots. No more struggling to get your child to put unpleasant allergy drops in their mouth. Instead, you can apply the Transdermal Allergy Cream to your child’s forearm at home in seconds!
If you think that your child would benefit from this alternative treatment, schedule an appointment to talk to a provider here.