When your child sneezes, two thoughts likely might come to mind: 1) Are they sick? or 2) Do they have allergies? If your child continues to sneeze but doesn't otherwise show symptoms of a cold, they are likely suffering from allergies.
Here's a quick guide to helping your child cope with their allergies:
Know Your Foe
When it comes to allergies, understanding what triggers symptoms is the key to coping with them effectively. If possible, schedule an appointment with a pediatric immunologist to better understand what's causing your child's allergies. When you visit with the physician, consider asking the following three questions:
How severe are your child's allergies? Not all allergies are equal. For instance, your child might be moderately allergic to hay, but acutely allergic to specific types of pet dander. Understanding the severity of each allergen is critical.
What pharmaceutical options are available? Not all medications are suitable for all children. Additionally, not all medications have the same side effects (or affect children in the same way). When it comes to choosing allergy medications, the more options the better.
What non-pharmaceutical options are available? Environmental changes like humidifiers or air filters may help combat mild allergic reactions without any pharmaceutical intervention.
Keep a Log
Most allergic reactions fluctuate rapidly. In order to figure out how to combat allergic reactions, it helps to keep track of your child's symptoms and the potential factors that might be causing their reactions to occur:
What are your child's symptoms? Tracking the type and severity of their symptoms is a great place to start.
When and where did the symptoms occur? Noting when and where the allergic reactions occur can help you cross-reference the allergies with other factors. For instance, you might find that your child has a severe allergic reaction at the park one day, but no reaction a week later. These differences can help you unlock the root cause of the allergic reaction.
What was it like outside? Journaling the pollen count, temperature, humidity, and wind (speed and direction) provides you with a more complete picture of the environmental factors linked to your child's allergies.
Take Preventative Measures
Many parents have success implementing the following anti-allergy measures:
Play Later: allergies tend to peak earlier in the day when pollen counts are higher and the air is more humid. Playing later in the day may provide some allergy relief.
Sleep Clean: laundering your child's bed linens and sleeping attire frequently can provide them a night time's relief from potential allergens.
For more tips and ideas, contact an immunologist at a clinic such as Deyarman Allergy & Asthma Clinic.
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