Right around Memorial Day, the allergy season peaks, but allergy sufferers of all ages have been battling brutal symptoms already this spring. When the wind blows pollen from trees and grasses into the eyes and nose, it can cause a miserable malady of sneezing, watering and itching.
"In this sense, kids are kind of like small adults because a lot of the outdoor pollens will cause similar symptoms," explained Cleveland Clinic Children's allergist, Dr. Brian Schroer. "They might be more prominent in kids particularly because they are outside playing more than adults."
Controlling Pollen: Indoors
Keeping your child's bedroom windows shut allows pollen to stay outside.
"You create an allergy-free zone in their bedroom," said Schroer.
Central air conditioning can help maintain a consistent pollen-free indoor environment. Adding a HEPA , or high-efficiency particulate air, filter may help filter pollen from the air indoors too.
Controlling Pollen: Outdoors
Pollen levels are higher in the morning and early afternoon, so playing outdoors later in the day may help reduce allergy symptoms.
It's also a good idea for kids to take their allergy medicine before they go outside to play.
Sunglasses might help kids avoid red, itchy eyes, too.
"It might prevent the pollen from actually being blown into their eyes," Schroer explained.
If you see your child rubbing their eyes, get them to stop. The more they rub their eyes, the worse the redness and itching will be. Schroer says rinsing their eyes with water will help relieve the itching.