It never fails – as soon as March comes around, I begin an endless cycle of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing. Sadly, so do my kids. They were both blessed with the gift of seasonal allergies thanks to genetics. They honestly didn’t have much of a chance – according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “If one parent is allergic, or if relatives on one side of the family have allergies, then the child has about a 50 percent chance of developing allergies.” (The percentage goes up to 75% if both parents have allergies.)
Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it), I have lived with allergies pretty much all my life to know enough about how to deal with them and some of the best ways to cope. I have gone through skin testing, allergy shot treatment, and taken countless amounts of allergy medications. I see a similar path for my children, though thankfully, their allergies seem to be less severe than my own. I suppose I should thank their father’s genetics for that!
All this to say that I have learned a few things on the best ways to deal with spring allergies. I am in no way an allergy doctor, but you learn a thing or two by living with seasonal allergies and helping your kids deal with spring allergies. So, here are my personal tips to help kids with spring allergies and hopefully make this allergy season go a little smoother in your house! (By the way, here’s how to tell the difference between allergies and a cold.)
7 Tips to Help Kids with Spring Allergies
(*Always Consult Your Child’s Doctor)
- Use anti-allergen mattress and pillow protectors. I highly suggest you invest in a good cover for your children’s mattresses and pillows to protect them from allergens, particularly dust mites. There are many mattress and pillow protectors out there that are both great for protecting against allergens and also water-proof, so you’ll get double the protection!
- Change bedsheets often. Linens should be changed and washed once a week, but if you feel like the kids are way too sick and sneezing all over their sheets, go ahead and change them out mid-week!
- Limit amount of bedtime friends. I know my kids love to sleep with their plush friends, but these can activate allergies like you wouldn’t believe! Limit their bedtime friends to 1-2 at a time.
- Clean bedtime friends by tossing them in the dryer. About every 10 days or so, or even once a week when you change the bedsheets, toss your kids’ bedtime friends into the dryer for about 10 minutes to clean them up a bit of dust and other allergens.
- Have kids change clothes when they get home from daycare/school or after being outside. When your children walk in the door after a day out, it’s a good idea to have them change clothes so they don’t sit around in clothes that have pollen or other allergens on them.
- Wash hands and face often, especially after being outside. This is always a good habit, but especially important after playing outside or coming home from a day out on the road. Allergens will stick to you without you realizing it and the next thing you know, kids are rubbing their eyes, nose, or putting their hands in their mouth.
- Elevate the pillow when sleeping. To help your kids breathe a little easier at night and help ease that nighttime cough that always seems to show up when they’re trying to rest, try elevating their pillow. I do so by placing a smaller pillow or cushion underneath the main pillow to give the main pillow some elevation.
I hope these tips help your kids deal with their spring allergies a little better this allergy season. It’s no fun to spend spring sniffling and sneezing! If you want more information on allergies, read this article from the OTCSafety team on allergy medicines, with information for both kids and adults. One of the key things they’d like you to remember is that you should NEVER give children allergy medicine in order to make them sleepy! More information is also included in the infographic below – feel free to share with your friends and family and pin for future reference! (Click on infographic image to view full size.)
Spring Allergies and Kids
What other tips do you have for helping your kids with spring allergies?
Photo: Sara Alfred/Flickr
Infographic courtesy of OTCSafety