Achoo! If welcoming the new spring season means welcoming more sneezing and sniffling around your house, then your kids might be suffering from seasonal allergies. Sometimes called hay fever, seasonal allergy symptoms happen during certain times of the year when outdoor molds relate their spores and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles. The immune systems of people who are allergic to mold or pollen treat these particles as invaders and release chemicals into the bloodstreams to defend against them. It’s the release of these chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
Symptoms Allergy symptoms, which usually come on suddenly and last if a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:
itchy nose and/or throat
clear, runny nose
Diagnosis Talk with your child’s pediatrician if you think they might have allergies. The doctor will want to know if there’s a pattern and will ask things like if it’s worse during the day or night, is it seasonal, does it seem triggered by a specific event or activity. The doctor may refer you to an allergist for blood tests or an allergy skin test. Skin testing is when they put small amounts of allergens on the skin, or just below it, and look for a reaction to try to detect what you’re allergic to. Once you have testing and can determine what you’re allergic to, then you know and can avoid some triggers.
Treatment There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how severe the symptoms are. If certain seasons cause the symptoms, keeping the windows closed and staying indoors when pollen/mold/weed counts are high might be enough to solve the problem. If reducing exposure isn’t possible or ineffective, medicines can help ease allergy symptoms. These may include decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal spray steroids. If symptoms can’t be managed with medicines, the doctor may recommend taking your child to an allergist or immunologist for evaluation for allergy shots, which can help desensitize kids to specific allergens.
As many as 40 to 50 million people in the United States are affected by allergies and at least 35.9 million Americans have seasonal allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. If you believe your child is one of them, schedule a visit to your doctor right away.
Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care
It can be scary any time your child is sick, but rest assured that AllKids Urgent Care is here to help guide you every step of the way with a caring and knowledgeable pediatric staff. Both our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care and our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care are open every day, from noon to 10 p.m. No appointment is necessary, just stop in and start your child on the road back to health.