Nobody wants to see their child suffering, which is why allergy season is so tough for children with allergies and their parents. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help your child manage their allergy symptoms, which we review below.
The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid triggers. The first step of this is identifying triggering allergens by scheduling an allergy test. After the allergy test reveals what your child is allergic to, you can practice avoidance by:
- Monitoring pollen counts using the National Allergy Bureau’s website.
- Staying indoors with the windows closed when pollen counts are high.
- Showering and changing clothes right away after spending time outdoors.
- Not giving your child outside chores.
- Wearing face masks and wraparound sunglasses in areas with triggering allergens.
- Putting allergen-proof covers on your child’s bedding.
- Installing portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or air purifiers from Bates Ace Hardware.
- Vacuuming and dusting the house regularly.
- Bathing indoor/outdoor pets weekly.
- Not letting pets in your child’s room.
- Telling waiters and waitresses about any food allergies.
- Carefully checking ingredient lists on all food labels.
Of course, avoiding allergens isn’t always possible. Taking allergy medications are the next line of defense against allergies. Types of allergy medications include:
- Allergy eye drops, including Acular, Optivar, Pataday, Patanol and Zaditor.
- Prescription antihistamine nasal sprays, including Astelin and Patanase.
- OTC antihistamine nasal sprays, including Astepro.
- Leukotriene antagonists, including Singulair.
- OTC sedating antihistamines, including Benadryl and Extendryl.
- OTC non-sedating antihistamines, including Allergra, Claritin, Zyrtec and Xyzal.
- Prescription antihistamines, including Clarinex.
- Steroid nasal sprays, including Flonase, Nasonex, Omnaris, Rhinocort Aqua and Veramyst.
Immunotherapy is a long-term approach to treating severe allergies that works by introducing small amounts of allergen extracts so the immune system can build up a tolerance to them. Immunotherapy is available in shot or drop form.
Allergy shots are administered in two phases:
- During the buildup phase, you are given shots every one to three days in gradually increasing doses. This phase lasts three to six months.
- During the maintenance phase, you are given shots monthly with a consistent dose. This phase lasts three to five years.
Allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) work similarly to allergy shots, except they are delivered in drop or tablet form, which is held under the tongue until dissolved. Allergy drops are given in the weeks leading up to and during allergy season. They are FDA-approved to treat allergies to ragweed, grass and dust mites.
For more information about managing your child’s allergies or to schedule an appointment, call ENT of Georgia today.