Navigate Allergy Season With Tips From South Slope Pediatrics

Navigate Allergy Season With Tips From South Slope Pediatrics
seasonal allergies kids

Spring is in full-bloom, and although it’s a beautiful (and welcome) sight, the pollen can wreak havoc on those with seasonal allergies. As adults, we know how to push through the itchy eyes and runny nose, but what’s the best way to approach treatment when it’s your child that is suffering through allergy season?

Dr. Hai Cao, pediatrician at South Slope Pediatrics, is here to share a few tips on recognizing seasonal allergies, and making your child more comfortable when the pollen has them down.

How can you tell the difference between a cold and seasonal allergies?
This can be tricky because both have similar symptoms, but it is the length of time that can help you differentiate. Colds usually last 3-7 days with worsening of symptoms half way through the illness. If symptoms stay the same intensity and last longer than 7 days, then we are dealing with allergies. Also, fever only comes with colds, NEVER with allergies.

What are some of the more common indoor and outdoor allergens in our area?
Different seasons mean different allergens. Spring is pollen from trees. Summer is grass. Fall is leaves. Wintertime is indoor allergens like dust, dust mites, cockroaches, and mold. Pollen.com reports an extensive list of severe allergens found in Brooklyn during the Spring. These are caused by weeds, grass and trees.  Another great source of information, and great place for allergy testing, is Dr Cascya’s website.

What should a parent do if they suspect their child is suffering from seasonal allergies?
The most common signs of allergies are itchy watery eyes, sneezing or congestion, itching sensation of the skin with or without rash, and/or dry non-productive cough from post nasal drip lasting over 1 week. There is a whole gammet of allergy medications available over the counter, but your best bet is to go to your doctor, and together we can develop the right plan for your child.

Is there a connection between seasonal allergies and asthma?
If your child is a moderate to severe asthmatic and also suffers from seasonal allergies then yes, allergies can initiate the symptoms of asthma. But just because your child suffers from allergies does not mean that he or she will get asthma and vice versa. These 2 conditions are separate.

What can moms and dads do to make their kids more comfortable during allergy season?
The most important thing is to get the allergens off your skin, so when your child comes indoors after playing outside, he/she should wash their hands and face. It’s also important to bathe or shower in the evening before bed to wash all the pollen off the body. Allergists also recommend not opening windows because pollen can come into the bedroom, but use your judgement on that, especially if it is a warm night and there’s no air conditioning in the room. Again, best thing to do is to contact your pediatrician and develop a plan together.

South Slope Pediatrics located at 501 5th Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, and is open Mondays from 8am to 6pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 6pm, Wednesdays from 12pm to 7pm, and Fridays from 9am to 5pm. For more information, visit Dr. Cao’s website or call the office directly at 718-576-2450.

Photo via Examiner.com

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