11 Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies

April 20, 2021

Sick asian little child girl wiping and cleaning nose with tissue on her hand; Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies

If spring hasn’t already sprung where you live, then it’s just around the corner. While relief from winter weather is usually welcome, some people suffer from the changing seasons. Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month is coming up in May, helping educate people about these health issues. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, as many as 40% of children are affected by seasonal allergies like hay fever. Common allergens include pollen, mold, and dust mites. If your child is one of the many children that suffer each year, then try these tips for managing seasonal allergies.

1. Know the Allergy

If your child has allergies but you aren’t sure of the exact causes, then you may want to talk to the pediatrician about an allergy test. They may be able to do it in the office themselves or they may refer you to a pediatric allergist. The pediatrician can also determine whether your child is suffering from asthma. Asthma can be the result of an allergy but it might also have a different cause. This makes a difference when deciding on treatment.

2. Close the Windows

After a winter of keeping windows shut against the cold, you might be tempted to open them and let the fresh air in. If you have a child with springtime allergies, resist that urge. Fresh air is not so great for people who are allergic to the pollen and other things it can bring into the house. If you need to combat warmer temperatures, try tip #3. 

3. Use Air Conditioning

Use the air conditioner instead of an open window to reduce pollen, mold, and allergens from coming in during warmer months. This is also applicable in the car. Air conditioning cools the air inside in a cycle so it doesn’t need to pull outside air in.

4. Limit Outside Time

It’s usually healthy for kids to spend time playing outside. In fact, we often encourage them to spend more time being active in the outdoors. However, that isn’t great advice for a child with seasonal allergies. You don’t have to prohibit them from going outside but limit time outdoors. You can also find tools online that can tell you the levels of certain allergens each day so you’ll know the best times to stay in and the best times to go out.

5. Change and Wash When Coming Inside

When your child comes inside from playing, have them change into “inside clothes” and put the dirty clothes in the hamper. Then have them wash their face and hands. This prevents them from bringing pollen and other things inside.

6. Wash Linens Frequently

Your child has a lot of contact with their bedding and towels. Dust mites and allergens lurking in linens can cause irritation. Towels and sheets should be washed at least weekly in hot water to kill dust mites and get rid of pollen or other allergens. Other bedding like blankets and comforters should be washed in hot water every 2 to 3 weeks. 

7. Replace Pillows

Children spend a lot of face time (literally) with their pillows. Over time pillows will collect dead skin cells, hair, and dust mites. It’s best to replace them every 2 to 3 years. Some pillows are able to be washed, which may prolong their life.

8. Put Soft Furnishings In Allergen-Proof Covers

If your child is allergic to dust mites or other allergens that live in soft furnishings, consider investing in some allergen-proof covers. You can find a variety of these zip-up covers for mattresses, box springs, pillows, and cushions online. Just make sure to follow the care instructions that come with them to keep them allergen-proof.

9. Use the Dryer

Line drying the washing outside might be eco-friendly and good for saving energy, but it’s not ideal for managing seasonal allergies. During the period your child’s allergies are kicking in, use the clothes dryer to get clothes and linens dry. 

10. Take Baths at Bedtime

As we mentioned earlier, having kids wash their hands and face when they come inside is a good way to manage seasonal allergies. Bathing before bed helps prevent kids from spreading the allergens to their pajamas and bedding. Give older kids that bathe themselves a reminder on washing well. Make sure they wash their bodies, faces, and hands rather than just rushing through it.

11. See Your Child’s Pediatrician

There are many antihistamine medications available to treat seasonal allergies. Some are available over-the-counter (OTC) and there are some that require a prescription. However, it is important to consult your child’s pediatrician before starting any allergy medication, including OTC varieties. Some children may benefit from immunotherapy for their allergies. But the pediatrician or allergist is the best person to determine the best treatment or approve medications.

If you think your child may have an allergy, call Holly Springs Pediatrics at (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment today. We can find the best plan for managing seasonal allergies for you and your child.