8 Tips for Keeping Your Child Healthy During Fall Allergy Season

By: Dr. Melissa K. Benbow

Children’s Medical Center of Dayton

 

 

 

 

With the start of the new school year comes the unwelcomed beginning of fall allergy season. From sneezing to itching and everything in between, fall allergy season can be a frustrating time for both you and your child. As a pediatrician at Dayton Children’s Medical Center, I see many patients during the fall season seeking relief from their symptoms. Here are eight tips to make this fall a season of bobbing for apples, picking pumpkins, and navigating corn mazes without the annoyance of fall allergies.

Eight tips on handling fall allergy season

  1. Take medication, as prescribed by your doctor or over-the-counter, as symptoms occur. Consistently taking your medication is key to treating allergy symptoms.
  2. Ragweed is the leading allergen during the fall season. Keep the windows closed when ragweed season is at its peak, change your child’s clothing after they’ve been outdoors, and don’t let them mow the lawn. Have your children bathe when they come inside to wash off the pollen.
  3. If dust mites cause your child’s allergies, be sure to keep your house clean to avoid allergic reactions. However, exposure to some dirt and germs is good for kids’ immune systems and may help prevent allergies.
  4. Keep family pets out of certain rooms, like your child’s bedroom, and bathe them if necessary. It is not the length of the pet’s hair, but the dander from the skin that causes the allergies. Bathing the pet regularly can cut down on dander as well as pollen that accumulates in the hair.
  5. People can develop allergies at any point in their lifetime. Note any symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, etc. and seek medical attention if necessary.
  6. Call the National Allergy Bureau at (800)-9-POLLEN for the pollen count in your area and modify your outdoor activities accordingly.
  7. Be proactive. If you know your child is allergic to ragweed or other fall allergens, begin medication a few weeks in advance to prevent symptoms once the season officially begins. If the allergies are just seasonal, you may be able to wean off the medications toward the end of fall when the weather is cooler and we get the first frost.
  8. Know what activities or situations trigger your child’s allergies and try to avoid them if at all possible. Not all triggers can be avoided, but minimizing exposure minimizes symptoms.

You can’t prevent allergy season, but you can make small changes to your daily routine to ensure a happy, healthy and symptom-free fall season.