As wilder winds and crunchy orange leaves start to replace the summer sunshine, kids are more likely to experience autumn allergies. This can be a real bummer for little ones excited to soak up the last bits of warmer weather and outdoor play before the seasons change. From itching to sneezing, seasonal allergy symptoms in kids can be tricky to understand and even trickier to resolve. So, we’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know about kids’ fall allergies, to start their season off right!
Kids’ seasonal allergies can come from anywhere — trees, weeds, pollen, even grass! Not to mention dust mites, mold, and mildew, too. These common culprits are not only outdoors, but they can make their way into homes and classrooms. Children who tend to react to things like dust, fungi, and molds can experience especially uncomfortable symptoms during the changing weather, turning on the heater, or when heading back to classrooms that have gone unused all summer long. Allergies can act up from this exposure and the worst symptoms are often between late summer and early fall.
Another major cause? The super duo of weeds and wind. As the winds pick up speed in the fall, they can often blow pollen further distances. One of the most likely causes is ragweed, a wild plant that releases pollen during the fall months: August through November. Luckily, that means that symptoms from ragweed will generally fade out by mid November, making for hopefully a less sniffly holiday season.
Signs & Symptoms
With the cold and flu season approaching, the sniffles are ever more likely. So how can you tell whether it’s fall allergy symptoms your little one is experiencing or something more sickly? One major clue is patterns. If your child tends to get a runny nose accompanied by itchy eyes and a tickle in their throat this time of year, it is a sign that they might be dealing with allergies. However, if your little one has a fever or any other more severe symptoms, it’s more likely a cold or flu.
Another sign to look out for is asthma. If a child is wheezing, or having trouble breathing, it might appear to be fall allergies when the real cause is more serious. If you’re unsure about the cause of your child’s symptoms, we always recommend consulting a pediatrician for advice before beginning any home remedies or over-the-counter treatments. If you have identified allergies as the culprit, luckily there are a few ways to help your child feel the best they can as they deal with pesky symptoms.
How to Help
Allergies are often from particles that are carried in the home from outside. You can help your child feel better at home by keeping your home as clean as possible of dust, mold, and mildew to prevent allergy symptoms. That means keeping bedding, a common culprit, washed often and even having kids and pets wiped down or bathed with a fresh change of clothes when they come in from the outdoors. Be sure to check your home for signs of mold and keep kitchens and bathrooms as clean as can be! Don’t forget to check on your little one’s toys. Wash the ones you can and keep those you can’t in a container, where dust is less likely to collect.
To ease symptoms, keep windows and doors shut when possible to keep the suspects of your kid’s seasonal allergy symptoms out. Instead, try running the air conditioning on low with a filter to clean the air in your home. You can also keep an eye on environmental pollen counts and promote indoor activities when you notice high numbers. We recommend always talking to your pediatrician about the best ways to help your child feel healthy and comfortable during the allergy season. They can walk you through over the counter medication options, lifestyle choices, additional testing, questions, concerns, or anything else you might want to discuss.
At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, we believe kids should have all of the opportunities to feel happy and healthy year round! If fall allergies symptoms are giving your little one trouble, don’t hesitate to reach out to your passionate Coastal Kids Pediatrician. To make an appointment, visit us www.coastalkids.com. And here’s to a happy and sniffle-free fall!