The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the POLLEN IS COMING FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN. Dun dun dunnn.. Ok, a little dramatic, but spring can really be a difficult time for kids who experience seasonal allergies. We want to provide you with as many helpful tips and tricks as possible to make for a pleasant spring time so you can enjoy the warming weather.
For starters, always visit with your doctor if your child is experiencing problems to make sure it is in fact allergies that are the culprit! The advice below should in no way replace the doctor's orders, but is meant to supplement what your doctor tells you to help prevent and minimize those dreaded symptoms. If you know your little one really has seasonal allergies, these quick tips can really offer some much needed relief.
Use saltwater or saline. Try nasal irrigation either with a saline solution at the drugstore, or you can make your own by mixing 8 ounces of boiled water with 1 tsp non-iodized salt in a squirt bottle.
Tub time! Taking a nice bath or shower can really help because of the steam it creates. The steam can help to relieve a plugged nose, or other allergy symptoms.
Eat hot & spicy. Not all kids like spice to their foods, but if they'll eat it, a dish made with some cayenne pepper, hot ginger, peppers, onions, or garlic, can help clear nasal passages. Make sure you try it first, you don't want to accidentally make something TOO spicy or it could make them extremely uncomfortable.
Warm compress to the face. Soak a towel in warm water and apply it to their face. It can sooth sinus pressure and pain.
Petroleum jelly for raw noses. Sometimes after constantly blowing their nose, it can get very irritated, red, raw, and painful. Applying just a bit of petroleum jelly can help do the trick to take away the pain.
Get good quality tissues or wipes. As if all of the symptoms weren't bad enough, all that wiping of their little nose, like said above, can really lead to some chaffed and irritated skin. Using saline wipes or tissues that have moisture added can really help with sensitive skin and minimize irritation.
Drink warm tea. So simple, but it can really soothe a scratchy throat (plus the steam from it helps the plugged nose!). Add a bit of honey and squeezed lemon to further soothe.
Gargle. I know this isn't the most fun, but it does work. Fill a glass with warm water and stir in 1-2 tbsp of table salt until dissolved, and then gargle.
Cold compresses. The warm compress can help with sinus pressure, but a nice cold towel applied to the eyes can help reduce itchiness in the eyes. Plus it stops them from irritating them, which brings me to the next point:
Don't let them rub their eyes! The natural reflex for itchiness is to, well... itch. Rubbing their eyes will only further irritate them and could make the itchiness even worse. Try to remind them when you see their hands head towards their eyes.
Ways To Avoid Symptoms
Keep the kids hydrated. On top of the other symptoms, you don't want allergies to leave your child dehydrated as well! Keep a water bottle close to them at all times, make tea, and if needed you can try something with electrolytes like Gatorade or coconut water.
Stay indoors. This isn't realistic, but you can try to minimize your child's exposure to allergens by limiting their time spent outside. The best times to avoid the outdoors is mid-morning, dusk, and when there is a strong wind (this is when pollen counts are at their highest!).
Invest in a humidifier. If you are going to be indoors more, it's important that the air isn't too dry as this can make it feel as if it's more difficult to breathe. Invest in a humidifier to keep some moisture in the air.
Use the air conditioner versus opening windows. If you have a hot day and you're tempted to roll down the windows to get some of that fresh air, maybe think again if you have someone with allergies in the car- it could aggravate their symptoms. Opt for A/C to keep the car or your home cool, if you have it.
Clean your home regularly. Keeping the home relatively allergen-free can go a long way in helping kids manage their seasonal allergy symptoms too. Dust with a damp cloth instead of a duster this time of year, so that all those allergens aren't being sent back into the air!