Seasonal Allergies in Kids

Seasonal allergies in kids (often referred to as allergic rhinitis or hay fever) can present challenges for parents and little ones alike. Read on to learn how to identify if your child has a seasonal allergy and how to differentiate it from a common cold. We will also discuss treatments and ways you can manage a seasonal allergy.

At After Hours Kids in Austin, Texas, our board-certified pediatricians offer expert guidance and personalized solutions to alleviate the symptoms that can accompany seasonal allergies. Give us a call to see how we can help!

Understanding Seasonal Allergies and Allergic Rhinitis

Seasonal allergies in kids are triggered by allergens that peak during specific times of the year. These allergens prompt an allergic reaction in the body’s immune system, mistaking threats from harmless substances like tree pollen, grass, plants, or weeds.

Recognizing Common Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Parents should be alert for the following symptoms that could indicate seasonal allergies in kids:

  • Persistent runny nose
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Throat clearing
  • Nose rubbing
  • Sniffling
  • Snorting


Hay fever symptoms can be particularly pronounced when pollen counts are high, as this is the most common allergen associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Differentiating Between Allergies and Colds

While the symptoms of seasonal allergies and common colds can be similar, distinguishing between the two is vital for effective management. Key differences include the recurrence of allergy symptoms during specific seasons, longer-lasting allergies (6-8 weeks or more), and the presence of itchiness in the eyes and nose.

How Can You Minimize Exposure to Allergy Triggers?

Controlling your child’s exposure to common allergens is crucial in managing seasonal allergies. Consider the following strategies:

  • Keep your child indoors during high pollen counts and utilize air conditioners to reduce outdoor exposure.
  • Avoid areas with rotting leaves, which can harbor high levels of mold.
  • Dust furniture regularly, wash linens frequently in very hot water to eliminate dust mites, and replace pillows every 2-3 years.
  • Wash your child’s clothes when they come in from outside to remove any attached pollen.

Effective Seasonal Allergy Treatment Options

Tailoring treatment to your child’s specific symptoms and overall health is essential. You should normally be able to treat seasonal allergies with allergy medications. Seasonal allergy treatments may include:

  • Oral antihistamines (e.g., Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin) to alleviate common symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing.
  • Oral decongestants for temporary relief of nasal congestion (e.g., Sudafed).
  • Steroid nasal sprays (e.g., Rhinocort, Flonase, Nasacort) to address inflammation and relieve nasal congestion.
  • Cromolyn sodium nasal spray to block immune system agents causing symptoms.
  • Allergy shots for immunotherapy gradually reduce the immune response to allergens.

The Role of Allergy Testing

If your child’s symptoms persist, allergy testing can help to pinpoint specific allergens, aiding in the development of a targeted treatment plan. At After Hours Kids, our allergists can conduct comprehensive allergy testing to identify triggers and guide you in effective symptom management.

Proactive Measures and Alternative Treatments

Parents can take proactive measures, such as using air conditioning with a HEPA filter to reduce indoor allergens and avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke. Additionally, alternative treatments like saline nasal sprays can provide relief.

Book an Appointment at After Hours Kids Today

If your child’s symptoms persist or worsen, it’s crucial to seek professional advice. Schedule an appointment with After Hours Kids in Austin, TX for a thorough evaluation of your child’s symptoms and personalized treatment recommendations. Contact us today!

AUTHOR
AHK Advanced Practice Providers
Our AHK APP’s include: Annie Croft, Pam Dietrich, Erin Moore, and Nikki Nutter,