Whether they are at home, outside playing, or attending school, bad seasonal allergies can disrupt your child’s entire day. As a parent, it is helpful to know about the causes of seasonal allergies so that you can prepare your family and treat allergies. Here is a guide to common allergy triggers and how you can help prevent them.
Spring seasonal allergies
Hay fever season may have you buying several boxes of tissues. Kids and adults alike are miserable with allergies that cause itchy eyes and sneezing. Spring is a difficult season for children in the United States who have an asthma condition (about five million) because of this. Pollen and airborne allergens cause about half of the asthmatic breathing problems. Once this allergy season is gone, your child’s sneezing and wheezing may dissipate.
Limit exposure to tree and grass pollen
Before ten in the morning and on windy days, you should keep your children inside if they suffer from allergies. These times are when pollen counts are at their highest. Turn on the air conditioning and keep all the windows in your house closed. Pollen sticks to shoes, skin, hair, and clothing, so have your children wash up and change clothes when they come inside. Avoid line-drying clothes and linens outside during this time so that they will not collect pollen.
Watch out for dust and mold by deep cleaning
You can get rid of dust and mold during your spring cleaning if you do it properly. Trap allergens with a damp cloth and make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. It would be best to do your cleaning when your child is out of the house as well. This is especially true if you generate a lot of dust when you clean light fixtures and takedown window coverings.
Summer seasonal allergies
Air pollution is at its worst on humid and hot days, which can increase a child’s allergies. Watch your children carefully, particularly those with asthma because they can be sensitive to the smog. During the hours of 11 AM to 8 PM, the smog is at its most intense. Limit children’s time outside during these hours and watch the news to determine what allergen levels will be for the day.
Take care of your air conditioning
Proper maintenance is important to your air conditioning system efficiently reducing humidity and filtering outside allergens. Make sure to use a filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of ten or higher. Filters with that rating trap tiny particles of mold, pollen, and dust. Replace the filters every three months or when seasons change. If you have window units, clean them at least once a year and upgrade the filter to a MERV.
Fall seasonal allergies
Ragweed season begins at the same time that your child heads back to school. This pollen is the number one cause of allergies in the fall. Ragweed flowers and pollinates from the middle of August until October, which means for the first two months of school, allergies are high. Pollen levels in the air from this culprit are highest between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM.
Be careful around decorations and fall celebrations
Outings to the pumpkin patch or the apple orchard can be difficult for children with asthma and allergies. These are damp and earthy locations where mold spores thrive. Limit your child’s exposure to decorations like hay bales, straw, piles of leaves, and corn husks because they harbor mold. Have your child change clothes and wash off after an outdoor trip during the fall season.
Indoor swimming pools
Swimming is a great exercise for asthmatics because the humidity is good for their lungs. However, indoor swimming pools can cause asthma attacks due to chlorine accumulation in the air, especially in poorly ventilated areas. Outdoor pools are a safer option if your child has asthma.
Winter seasonal allergies
Although many types of pollen are no longer a threat in winter, chilly air may constrict your child’s airways if they have allergies or asthma. To avoid a cold air asthma attack, have your child wear a neck scarf over their mouth and nose to warm the air they breathe. The warm air can help to relieve asthma symptoms.
Avoid candles, incense, and potpourri
Technically, these are not allergens, but fragrances in some home decor products can trigger an allergic fit of sneezing or inflame the airways of an asthmatic child. Avoid buying incense, candles, potpourri, and air fresheners if your child may be allergic to their scents.
Allergy testing and treatment in Amarillo, Texas
Dr. John Young is a pediatrician in the Amarillo area. He and his team provide the best possible experience for you and your child. For help with your child’s seasonal allergies or asthma, give us a call at (806) 354-0404, ext. 3330. You can also Contact Us by email to learn more about our Services or visit us in person at 1500 S. Coulter Street, Suite #3 in Amarillo, Texas.