Tree and grass pollen seasons are overlapping and that means double trouble for allergy sufferers of all ages. Dr. Elaine Schulte is a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's and says she's already seeing the effects.
"It's more severe than it's typically been. We're seeing kids come in with all sorts of complaints," said Schulte. "Kids who have never had allergies before are coming in saying their eyes are itchy, their nose is runny, they have a little bit of a sinus-y headache."
When pollen is carried by the wind, it gets blown into the eyes and nose. Outdoor pollens cause similar symptoms in both kids and adults, but kids tend to be outside more so symptoms may be worse.
"When the oak tree pollen coincides with the grass pollen we get a lot more nose and eye symptoms and we're going to start seeing more here in the next week or two," explained pediatric allergist Dr. Brian Schroer.
Pollen allergies are common and you may start to notice your kids itching their eyes or sneezing as young as 4 years old. Over-the-counter antihistamines, nose sprays, or eye drops, preferably without red eye reducers, can help relieve allergy symptoms in kids.
If you notice your child rubbing itchy eyes, Schroer says rinsing them out with water can bring relief. He also suggests another trick you can try to prevent itchy eyes.
"Have the kids wear sunglasses and it might prevent the pollen from actually being blown into their eyes and leading to redness, itching and swelling of the eyes," Schroer suggested.
He also recommends creating an allergy free zone in your child's room so they can sleep comfortably at night - this includes keeping bedroom windows shut and turning on central air conditioning, if you have it.
Tou can also add a "HEPA" filter to your central air unit to help filter out mold spores and pollen from the air.