Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) and Conjunctivitis

The following are tips about environmental allergies in children from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Hay fever is defined as chronic or repeated cold-like symptoms that last more than a week or two or develop around the same time every year. Symptoms could include itchy and runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, throat clearing and itchy, watery eyes.

Common Allergens: dust mites, pollen from trees, grasses and weeds, molds and fungi, animal dander.

Here are some ways to manage symptoms:

  • To subdue out door allergens – use an air-conditioner at home.
  • Bathe at the end of the day to remove particles from hair and skin.
  • If allergic to pets but still would love a pet, a hypoallergenic dog might be a good solution.
  • Control dust mites by encasing mattresses, box springs, pillows in allergen-proof zip covers. Wash bed linens every 1-2 weeks in hot water.

Medications to control symptoms: – Generally recommended for children over 2 years of age.

  • Antihistamines: Claritin/ Zyrtec/ Allegra (OTC) – generic is fine
  • Steroid nasal sprays: Flonase, Nasonex , etc.(OTC)
  • Topical eye drops: Zaditor/Alaway (OTC)

Allergy Immunotherapy: (allergy shots) may be recommended to reduce your child’s allergy symptoms. These are prescribed by Allergists only for patients whose allergies have been tested and confirmed. Allergy shots are the choice when avoidance and medications do not help.

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