Ah, Spring is in the air…Ah…Choo!
As winter gives up its grip, seasonal allergy suffers turn a leery eye out the window at blooming grass and trees, sigh, and start digging out last year’s allergy medication. Children allergic to pollen and molds may do more than sigh.
If your child suffers from seasonal allergies you too are getting prepared. Kids usually develop allergies before their 6th birthday but, can develop new ones throughout their lives. . And, as I can attest to as a lifelong sufferer, moving to a new location doesn’t help….those prone to allergies tend to find something to be allergic to wherever they are.
While drugstores carry shelves full of over-the-counter medications to alleviate the symptoms of seasonal allergies, there are some natural choices that, in many cases work as well or better.
Top 10 Tips to Help Kids Cope With Allergy Symptoms
- Stay Inside. The best way to treat allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens to begin with, say the experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). So when pollen counts soar, keep kids indoors as much as possible. Pollen is usually at its peak mid-morning, early evening, and when the wind is blowing. To keep pollen out when the weather’s hot, air condition your car and home and keep windows closed.
- Use Saltwater. Nasal congestion can be one of the most exhausting symptoms for children with allergies. For relief, older children might want to try nasal irrigation with a saline solution, one of the “best home remedy of all,” says Alan Goldsobel, MD, a California physician and spokesman for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. You can buy saline at the drugstore or make your own by mixing in a squirt bottle eight ounces of water to one teaspoon non-iodized salt.
- Stay Hydrated. All that sneezing and blowing can leave a child parched. Keep a water bottle full and close to hand and encourage your children to stay well-hydrated. Or try a weak tea with honey and lemon. Bonus: The steam from a piping hot cup may relieve sinus congestion, too.
- Warm It Up. A hot shower or bath seems to offer allergy symptom relief for some, says Asriani Chiu, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at the College of Wisconsin, so encourage kids to enjoy a little tub time.
- Deal With Dry Air. A little moisture in the air makes breathing easier for most, so if you suspect the air in your house is dry, you may want to turn on a humidifier. But be careful: Humidity over 40% can encourage the growth of indoor allergens like mold and dust mites.
- Get Face Time. When itchy eyes are driving your kid crazy, try a cold compress, says Chiu, which may help reduce the itch and inflammation. Warm compresses applied to the face may help soothe a child’s sinus pressure and pain.
- Spice It Up. If your kids enjoy spicy foods, a piquant dish made with cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, onions, or garlic may help thin mucus and clear nasal passages.
- Rub Jelly On It. And if your child’s nose is raw and red from blowing, you can soothe their sniffer with a dab of petroleum jelly.
- Gargle to Relieve Sore Throats . If postnasal drip leaves your child with a sore throat, gargling with warm salt water made of 1-2 tablespoons of table salt in 8 ounces of water may ease the pain.
- Avoid Certain Foods . If your child is allergic to ragweed, they may also have an allergic sensitivity to certain foods. Symptom-provoking foods to avoid may include bananas, melons, chamomile tea, sunflower seeds, and cucumbers.
In addition, to these tips, herbal remedies or alternative treatments may offer relief for your child. Which ones have you tried and found successful in treating seasonal allergies?
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Don’t forget to eat local honey or bee pollen. That helps me tons.
We’ve had to use saline and humidifier’s to manage my son’s congestion, which we think is allergy related, because he’s too young for any meds – not that we would want to start with meds first anyway. The saline is really helpful in getting his nose cleared out. The humidifier doesn’t seem to do a thing. 🙁
My chiropractor recommended buying locally produced, organic honey and making sure my daughter ate a spoonful each day. This doesn’t get rid of allergies but the body slowly builds up an immunity (local bees=local pollen) and the symptoms lessen. This seems to be working for us. I also use an air filter in her bedroom which runs 24 hours a day because we love to have the windows open.
I am using a humidifier but add a few drops of tea tree oil in it and it works wonders.
Kelly J says
What a good article. I’ve tried half of the list above. My kids love honey/lemons. We use the real stuff w/ the honey comb still in the jar:) My 6 yr old has an ear infection & what we believe to be seasonal allergies. Both his eyes are slightly swollen & one had stuff oozing this a.m. He’s on amoxcillin (infection) & I’m trying kid’s Zyrtek (since Claritin isn’t working) and contemplating wiping his eyes with boric acid…
Its hard keeping him inside while his cousins play outside & the weather is beautiful!
I thought these were suppose to natural remedies..why would you suggest petroleum jelly??
Native remedies makes a chewable allergiclear wich looks good (quercetin and eyebright ect.) but I havent tried it yet
I would advise against Zyrtec or Singulair. Both have caused behavior problems in my son (he’s only 4). The Zyrtec worked wonders, but completely changed his personality. Last night was his last night on Singulair after 2 1/2 weeks because I finally realized that once again the drugs were the problem. From now on, he will only get natural rememdies for allergies.
i would love spring…if it wasnt for all the allergens =)
I’m the only one in my family with allergies, its good to know that in (definitly) not alone.
I just wanted to second what ktconk said…my daughter was on Claritin which kept her allergies well under control, but she was a different child while on it. After working with her teacher for weeks trying to get her behavior/attitude under control, one day I forgot to give her the Claritin…it turns out that she had a fabulous day that day, and her teacher said she was 1000 times better. So she’s been off the Claritin and her behavior has been great, but her allergies are worse than ever. Soooo, off to find some natural alternatives! It’s just as well…we’re slowly cutting out all of the artificial crud that’s been a part of lives.
I second Lia’s comment – why petroleum jelly?
I imagine a beeswax and fruit/veggie-oil-based blend would be a good substitute.
Hello, quercetin is the best comes in tablet and there are brands for kids, works great for me and kids, works for sinus kinds of inflamation, also saline nose drops do great for the infants, use the all natural that the best, and a must to start the raw honey in late winter so body builds slight immunity…however with honey I also boil water over it in a cup and then add to tea, etc…Quercetin is found in many natural heath food stores, vitacost.com, vitaminshop.com…..good luck!! 🙂 hope this helps!!