7 Ways to Relieve Children’s Allergy Symptoms, According to a Pediatrician

Runny noses and sneezes come with the territory when you’re a parent. But knowing whether those symptoms are caused by a cold or by seasonal allergies is important for helping your child feel better. We reached out to ZYRTEC® partner, Dr. Katie Friedman, a board-certified pediatrician and mom, to understand how to identify seasonal allergies and properly treat them so your kiddo can get back to doing what they love. 

Since springtime has its share of viruses, along with seasonal allergies, we wanted to know some easy ways to tell the difference between the two. According to Dr. Friedman, the symptoms can be very similar–sneezing, nasal congestion, and a runny nose. Where the distinction really comes in is with a fever. An elevated temperature will be present with a viral illness, and body aches and a sore throat will often come with it, says Friedman. 

Another way to distinguish between a cold and allergies is that the latter often comes on abruptly. For example, your child was outside playing tag and then comes inside and starts sneezing. Watery, itchy eyes and a tickle in the throat may also come along for the ride. While your little one may not be sick, dealing with these symptoms for weeks or months on end can be frustrating for both of you. It’s important to know how to treat these symptoms so that you can both enjoy what spring has to offer. 

Here are 7 ways to help relieve kid’s allergy symptoms.

Know your child’s triggers. Lots of allergies present the same way, with sniffles, itchy eyes, and sneezing. But it’s important to know whether your kiddo is reacting to tree pollen, grass, pet dander, dust mites or other allergens. Dr. Friedman recommends seeing an allergist to pinpoint the specific things your child is reacting to. This way, you can help them avoid their triggers. Friedman also points out that instead of waiting to make an appointment until your child isn’t feeling well, get something on the books ahead of time so that you’re both prepared for allergy season.

Have a plan with your child’s allergist or pediatrician. Friedman emphasizes that it’s key to know how to treat your child’s symptoms and then being prepared to do so when needed. Instead of being surprised by allergy symptoms this season, be prepared with an effective over the counter oral antihistamine like Children’s ZYRTEC®, which provides 24-hours of relief from sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and itching of the nose or throat and comes in a variety of offerings to meet the needs of your growing children through every age and stage.

On very high pollen count days, you may want to keep your kid inside. “During springtime, if you know your child has a certain environmental allergy…you want to get the pollen count for the day and if it’s really high, you want to take that into consideration,” says Dr. Friedman. Pollen count is a measurement of the amount of pollen in the air. You can download apps like AllergyCast®* that tell you whether the various types of pollen (tree, grass, and ragweed) are low, moderate, or high. If your child has allergies to ragweed and it’s listed as high, that might be a day for them to skip practice or train indoors.

Be aware of the allergens you’re bringing inside. Dr. Friedman recommends that when kids come home from school, they change their clothes immediately. And backpacks and sports bags should be left in the mudroom or laundry area. Avoid bringing them into bedrooms where the allergens can transfer to the carpet, bedding, or furniture, triggering allergy symptoms overnight. Showering right after coming home is another good strategy for reducing allergens in hair, mentions Dr. Friedman.

And also watch out for allergens inside your home. We love our pets, but they carry and shed dander–dead skin cells–throughout the home. Your child might be triggered by pet dander when sitting on the floor or the couch watching morning cartoons. Frequently vacuuming carpets and furniture and using HEPA air filters can minimize the amount of pet dander in your home. 

Be ready on-the-go. It’s one thing to have a medicine cabinet that is fully stocked with allergy medications, but don’t be caught off guard when you’re out and about on day trips to the zoo or while traveling. A convenient option that doesn’t even require water is Children’s ZYRTEC® Dissolve Tabs, which come in a kid-friendly citrus flavor for ages 6+.

Have the right meds for your child. Personalization is important, as what works for one child may be different than what works for another. Though all oral antihistamines work to block the release of histamine that cause allergy symptoms (runny nose and itchy, watery eyes, for example), Children’s ZYRTEC® offers a range of options in varying doses, forms, and flavors so your child can take the medication that is the right fit for them. Kids 2+ can use either Children’s ZYRTEC® Syrup, which is available in kid-friendly bubblegum and grape flavors or Children’s ZYRTEC® Dye-Free Chewables (2.5 mg) — also available in a kid-friendly grape flavor. For children 6+, ZYRTEC® offers Children’s ZYRTEC® Dye-Free Chewables (10 mg).

*Standard rates may apply.

This article was created by SheKnows for Children’s ZYRTEC®.

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