In Louisville and Southern Indiana, seasonal allergies are a way of life for many. If you’re reluctant to use over-the-counter medication for children’s allergy relief or want to try natural remedies first, here are some ideas from Rachel Alexander, APRN, nurse practitioner and program coordinator with Norton eCare.
Children’s allergy relief without leaving home
Norton eCare providers are available 24/7. Video visits are available for children ages 2 and older.
- Limit your child’s time outdoors. Pollen counts are highest during midday, early evening and when it’s windy.
- Use air conditioning both in the car and in your home. Consider a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for your home.
- Have your child shower in the evening to wash the pollen off before bedtime. Be sure to thoroughly wash hair. The steam from the shower also is sometimes beneficial in relieving symptoms.
- Children also can use a saline rinse to clear pollen from nasal passages. There are several varieties, from neti pots to special sprayers and even electronic devices. Talk to your health care provider about the best options for your child.
- Keep pets out of your child’s bedroom if they have been outdoors. This reduces the amount of pollen in the sleeping area.
- Dry clothes in a dryer, not outdoors on a clothesline.
- For itchy eyes, use a cold compress to reduce symptoms. And remind your child not to rub — it can make symptoms worse.
- Encourage your child to sip warm fluids to relieve a sore throat from drainage.
- For sinus pain and pressure, apply a warm compress on your child’s face.
If your child is really struggling, medications may be necessary.
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“There are multiple over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications you can try,” Alexander said. “Antihistamines will keep your body from having a reaction to the allergen. These can be found in liquids, pills or even nasal sprays.
“You want to stay away from over-the-counter decongestants, as they are not recommended for children. Consult your child’s medical provider for options.”
If these solutions don’t work, you may want to talk with your child’s medical provider about seeing an allergist for testing.