Seasonal Allergies In Babies & Toddlers: Symptoms And Treatments
Does your child have seasonal allergies? Read on for everything you need to know about them!
In this article:
- What Are the Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?
- How Common Are Seasonal Allergies?
- How Do You Treat Seasonal Allergies?
- What Are the Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies?
- Do Seasonal Allergies Run in the Family?
- When Do Seasonal Allergies Normally Occur?
- Do Seasonal Allergies Cause Diarrhea?
- Do Seasonal Allergies Cause Fever?
- How Do You Prevent Seasonal Allergies?
Frequently Asked Questions About Seasonal Allergies in Babies and Toddlers
1. What Are the Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergy is also known as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. The seasonal allergy symptoms in toddlers, children, and adults are similar. The most common symptoms are:
- itchy nose
- stuffy nose
- watery or swollen eyes
- sore throat
- ear pain
Keep an eye out for the “allergic salute.” This is when toddlers and children form the habit of wiping or rubbing their nose in an upward manner using their palm, fingers, or the back of their hands.
2. How Common Are Seasonal Allergies?
Approximately 40% of children have allergies of some sort. Allergies can come in the form of food allergies, indoor allergies, pet allergies, and seasonal allergies. According to a survey conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016, 5.5 million children had seasonal allergies.
It’s good to note that pediatricians are less inclined to diagnose children under the age of two with seasonal allergies. Most doctors believe it usually takes a few years of exposure to allergens for seasonal allergies to develop.
3. How Do You Treat Seasonal Allergies?
Treatment for seasonal allergies will vary depending on its severity. Some doctors may prescribe antihistamines to help control the body’s allergic reactions. They may also prescribe steroids if inflammation is a problem. In some cases, doctors may administer allergy shots for older children.
If you suspect your child has seasonal allergies, it’s best to consult your doctor before attempting any form of treatment. You can also consult a pediatric allergist, a doctor that specializes in allergies in children.
4. What Are the Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies?
There are natural remedies that may be helpful in providing seasonal allergies relief. Here they are:
- Saline nasal sprays are helpful in clearing the nasal passageway. They help flush out the allergens from your child’s nose. There are saline nasal sprays specifically designed for babies and toddlers.
- Probiotics are bacteria that are good for your digestive system. Studies show that probiotics are an effective natural remedy for seasonal allergies. If your child is experiencing seasonal allergies, you can increase their intake of food rich in probiotics. These include yogurt, miso, and some cheeses. Probiotic supplements are also available. Be sure to consult your doctor before giving your child any supplements.
5. Do Seasonal Allergies Run in the Family?
Unfortunately, allergies can be inherited. A child who has one biological parent who suffers from allergies is 30-50% more likely to develop allergies compared to a child whose parents do not have any. If both parents have allergies, the child is 60-80% more likely to develop allergies.
6. When Do Seasonal Allergies Normally Occur?
Seasonal allergies normally occur during the spring, summer, or fall months. Seasonal allergies are normally caused by an increase of pollen particles in the air. There are three main culprits: trees, grass, and weed.
You can blame tree pollen for the first wave of seasonal allergies. This normally starts in early spring (April or May). Grass becomes problematic towards the end of spring all the way up to the beginning of summer (May-July). And if your child is still experiencing allergies in the fall (mid-August-September), it’s probably due to the pollen from weeds.
7. Do Seasonal Allergies Cause Diarrhea?
Seasonal allergies are not usually associated with diarrhea. In rare cases, taking antihistamine can cause bouts of diarrhea. If this happens, talk to your doctor.
8. Do Seasonal Allergies Cause Fever?
Seasonal allergies do not cause fevers. When your child has a fever, it’s usually a sign that they’re fighting an infection. It can get confusing because seasonal allergies share similar symptoms with the common cold or the flu.
Children with seasonal allergies, a cold, or the flu will present with a stuffy nose, sore throat, non-stop sneezing, and headaches. To help differentiate, keep in mind that the common cold or the flu will have the added symptoms of a fever, discolored nasal discharge, chills, and body pain.
9. How Do You Prevent Seasonal Allergies?
The best way to prevent seasonal allergies is to pinpoint your child’s allergens and avoid the triggers. Try the following as you near your child’s allergy season:
- Keep your windows closed and use an air conditioner.
- Take note of areas in your home where allergens can stay trapped. This includes carpets, drapes, sheets, stuffed animals, and anything that’s fabric-heavy. Clean, dust, or vacuum these areas more frequently. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is more helpful than regular vacuums because it can filter out allergens.
- Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your home or child’s room.
- Make your family change out of their outdoor clothes as soon as they get home. It’s very easy for pollen to stick to shoes and fabric.
- Do laundry more often. Use a dryer. Leaving your clothes to dry outside may expose it to pollen.
- Give your child a bath before bedtime to remove any allergens that might’ve gotten stuck in their hair.
- Bathe your pets more frequently, especially if they spend time outdoors.
- Avoid smoking around your child. Smoking aggravates seasonal allergy symptoms.
- Check the weather regularly. It’s best to stay indoors on dry and windy days. More wind means more pollen movement. You can even check the pollen count in your area, too.
Seasonal allergies can cause problems at any age, but they are particularly annoying in children. Find out more about seasonal allergies in this video from Kids Central Pediatrics:
It’s tough to see your little one suffer through seasonal allergies. While there is no cure, you and your doctor can work together to help your child manage the symptoms. When it comes to seasonal allergies, every piece of knowledge goes a long way!
How do you deal with your little one’s allergies? Let us know in the comments section below!