April 18, 2022
Seasonal Allergies & Kids

Warm weather is here, which means fun in the sun and opening up the doors and windows to get some fresh air…But that also means the outdoors get into our homes and can start to cause ALLERGIES.

Coughing, sneezing, congestion, eye rubbing, and itchiness are just a few of the symptoms that make us all miserable. These symptoms are also problematic when trying to understand when our children have a viral illness or just seasonal allergies.

A cold or viral illness usually comes on suddenly and can be associated with a fever but typically will resolve within 7–14 days. Seasonal allergies will not cause fever and may be present for weeks or months. Allergies can cause sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, and symptoms people often refer to as “hay fever.”

Seasonal allergies tend to occur at certain times of the year. Most seasonal allergies are caused by:

  • Pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds (Spring and Summer)
  • Mold spores, which grow when the weather is humid, wet, or damp (Fall)

Some people have symptoms like those of seasonal allergies, but their symptoms last all year. Year-round symptoms are usually caused by:

  • Insects, such as dust mites and cockroaches
  • Animals, such as cats and dogs
  • Mold spores

People with seasonal allergies usually are breathing in these allergies but kids may also be touching the allergens and then toughing their face or eating without washing their hands. With seasonal allergies, the immune system is acting as if the substance/allergen is harmful to the body and then allergy symptoms occur.

Many people develop seasonal allergies as kids that can become a lifelong problem. These symptoms can get better or worse over time. Allergies can also run in families.

Your child’s provider can do a blood test to look for environmental and food allergies and can refer your child to the allergist for “scratch testing” if needed. Both types of allergy testing may be necessary to help identify the best ways to care for your loved one.

There are several over-the-counter (OTC) products that can help kids with allergy symptoms. Some of these may make your child sleepy (or at high doses be dangerous to your child) so please discuss what medications may be best with your child’s primary care provider.

Daniel Moorman, MD

By Daniel Moorman, MD

CHAS Health