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Seasonal Allergies in Children

April 26, 2011

What are seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies, commonly referred to as hay fever, are the body's reaction to airborne particles such as pollen or mold. This type of allergy kicks up at times of year when certain trees, grasses, or weeds are in flower, or when mold releases its spores into the air. Allergy suffers are always the first to know when spring has arrived.  The itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, all around crappy feeling of seasonal allergies is never fun.  But most especially not fun for babies and toddlers who suffer from dreaded seasonal allergies.  As parents we want to make our little ones feel better.  We want to do something to make the runny nose, itchy eyes and all around yucky feeling go away, but when you have a child that suffers from seasonal allergies that isn’t always easy to do.

How can I tell if my baby has allergies or just a cold?

Because the symptoms of nasal allergies are much like cold symptoms, it can be tough to tell the difference. There are some telltale signs of allergies. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Does it seem like your baby is always sniffling and sneezing? Colds usually wind down in a week or two; allergies don't.
  • Does he/she breathe through her mouth?
  • Is your baby constantly wiggling, wiping, or pushing his/her nose up in what doctors call the allergic salute?
  • Is the mucus that drains from his/her nose clear and thin (as opposed to yellow or greenish and thick)?
  • Is your baby's nose continually stuffy or running?
  • Are her eyes itchy, red, and watery?
  • Does the skin under her eyes look dark or purple or blue — what doctors call allergic shiners?
  • Is his/her skin irritated or broken out in an itchy red rash?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, experts suggest that there's a good chance your baby is allergic to something in her environment.  Contact your pediatrician to discuss your concerns and determine if your child is indeed suffering from seasonal allergies.

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