I have had life-long allergies. From food allergies to environmental alleges that landed me in the hospital as a kid, allergies can be serious business. But no time of the year is worse for me than fall. What many people don’t realize is the leaves that fall from the trees in autumn are actually molding. It’s like having a backyard petri dish of contaminants for those of us allergic to mold.
Even if you don’t have bad allergies, this year is proving to be a miserable time for people suffering from allergies and asthma. High levels of ragweed pollen, combined with outdoor mold and other triggers, has created a problem nationwide. With allergies, your body not only feels run-down, it’s actually fighting itself, thinking you’re sick when you’re not. And while as adults we may recognize that we have allergies, kids don’t always understand why they feel so tired, grumpy or downright mean.
Common signs of allergies include:
- Runny Nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy eyes and nose
- Dark circles under the eyes
Depending on the severity of your child’s allergies, you may be able to provide him enough relief naturally. While it can be difficult to completely remove all household allergens, with the proper measures, allergens can be reduced to manageable level for most people. For parents of kids dealing with allergy issues this year, here are some tips to help out your kiddos this season:
- Stay indoors with the doors and windows closed, especially when pollen is at its peak (in the morning)
- Remove allergens from you and your child’s skin and hair by showering/bathing more frequently
- Change clothing after playing/working outside
- Wash your bedding at least once a week in 130+ degree hot water
- Frequently dust hard surfaces with moist cloths or dry dusters that trap allergens
- Use high-filtration bags (HEPA) in the vacuum and clean the carpet frequently (more than once a week). And don’t forget to vacuum the couch’s surfaces
- Place certified allergen-barrier bedding on your mattresses and pillows
- Clean your heating vents and change the filter before turning it on for the first time
- Use filters on your HVAC system, and even consider installing UV light to kill additional allergens
If your child’s allergies are affecting his daily life, however, please consult a board certified allergy specialist in your area. (The AAFA website includes a list of local and regional clinics that specialize in allergy and asthma treatment and education.) Even if you try over-the-counter medication, it may just not be enough, and your child may not know how to communicate exactly how awful they feel. By getting properly diagnosed, you may discover an allergy trigger you didn’t know about and be able to give your child better relief.