Seasonal allergies are one of the most difficult and (usually) non-life-threatening issues to deal with as a parent. Sneezing. Coughing. Golden dust on your patio furniture, car and ….yes, even little Timmy.
But there are steps you can take to help manage your child’s seasonal allergies and get through allergy season. We listed some simple changes you can implement right now.
First, is to understand the seasonal spring allergen. The chief culprit is pollen. Pollen counts have peaks and valleys throughout the day. Typically, pollen counts peak in the morning and begin to subside after 10:00 am. The amount of pollen varies widely, even within your city and certainly among geographic regions. Weather conditions have a major impact on pollen season. A rainy spring or late spring frost that kills flowers often reduces the amount of pollen in the atmosphere. Your child’s seasonal allergies may be triggered more in the morning and subside as the day wears on.
And, not all pollens and allergens peak at the same time during the year, nor across the country. We recommend a Pollen Tracker that can help you determine what type and which days you and your child are most likely to encounter, based on your location. Your child’s seasonal allergies may be one or a combination of the “big 3” pollen producers: tree, grass, and mold. Regardless, the basic rule is to keep your windows closed during peak pollen hours of the day.
Bed, Bath and Beyond…
- If your child is outside all day, he or she will bring allergens and pollen particles into your house and ultimately, in to their bed. The most effective way to head off sheet and pillow pollen is to ensure your child is bathed each day; pollen also loves hanging out on heads in hair too – don’t forget to suds up from head to toe.
- Walking across the living room in the same shoes worn in the backyard will also bring pollen into the home. Make sure everyone removes their shoes, no matter where they have been, to reduce the chance of allergens finding a new home on your rugs or furniture.
- Your pets are no different from your children. When your dog or cat comes back into the house, so do all the allergens, including pollen, little bugs and of course, dander. Brushing your pet in the garage before coming back into the home will help as will frequent baths and keeping the pets out of yours or your child’s bed.
- Replace your heating/cooling air filters regularly and invest in a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. These are very effective in removing pollen from the air indoors without contaminating the environment with molds.
- Dry all your laundry indoors during the pollen season. Save the clothesline for pre- and post-pollen weather.
Not everyone suffers from allergies and many people can grow into and out of allergies many times in life, year to year. Tracking your sniffles, sneezes and puffy eyes against pollen counts will help you determine which types you are most sensitive and of course, a visit to your healthcare practitioner is always recommended to ensure which treatments will work best for your child and your family.
Do you have a strategy or suggestion for other parents going through the allergy season? We welcome your comments, thoughts and opinions. Drop us a line and we may feature your story in an upcoming blog.
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