Jun 13, 2011

Spring Has Sprung, Right On Past Us. But Allergies Haven't

I wrote this post while participating in a blog tour conducted by Clever Girls Collective on behalf of Children's Claritin®. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program.

It is often said that here in Chicago we only have two seasons, winter and construction.  But honestly, we usually have some pretty decent spring and fall weather.  These are MY favorite seasons because the weather is (usually) perfect for getting outside.  However, I'm learning that my kids appreciation of spring is sometimes hampered by seasonal allergies.

We haven't officially had either of the boys who I am confident suffer from seasonal allergies (ages 7 and 3) tested because our Doctor didn't feel they were severe enough to necessitate putting them through allergy testing.  Luckily with a little help from an allergy medicine they are usually right back up and at them.
But sometimes because I'm not a seasonal allergy sufferer, except the occasional issue with heavy cottonwood exposure, I can forget about their suffering.  My kids symptoms are fairly mild but enough to make a preschool cranky during the day and restless at night.
Add to that, that this year our spring weather has been pretty much nonexistent going from 30 degree temps to high 90s in seriously no time flat and I can forget that IS spring! 

If I do start to forget about how my little ones are being affected by the changing seasons I've learned to pick up on some subtle signals.  Obviously none of these alone really indicates a problem but when I notice several of them repeatedly, it will usually remind me it's time to help them feel better with a little allergy medicine:
  1. Rubbing their eyes
  2. Being extra tired
  3. Rubbing their nose or making scrunchy nosed faces
  4. Watery eyes
  5. Sneezing
  6. Being more thirsty than normal
  7. Being overly emotional/extra crabby
Some of the ways we try to help our kids when seasonal allergies act up
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
For more tips on relieving allergies, visit www.Facebook.com/Claritin. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve tried all sorts of coughing syrups, believe me, but none of them helps. Even though Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa http://www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm does not eliminates the cough I like to stick to this chinese syrup I’ve been taking since I was a kid: Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa. My grandfather is chinese, so I guess my mom got the advice from him. I was really surprised when I found that chinese market selling it here in Belgium. It does have a refreshing, soothing, sweetening effect…as long as it lasts…then back to coughing mode.


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