What is hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergy to pollen in the air. Your child probably has hay fever if:
- There is a clear discharge from your child’s nose,
- AND your child’s nose itches,
- AND your child sneezes and sniffs.
- Your child’s eyes may also itch and water or look pink.
Here are the months of the year you may expect problems with hay fever:
- In April and May, the most common pollen is from trees.
- In June and July, most of the time it is from grass.
- From August until the first frost, ragweed pollen is the big problem.
Animal fur and other things could cause your child’s hay fever.
How can I take care of my child?
Give your child an antihistamine.
- This medicine works best for hay fever.
- Your child’s doctor will tell you what you should use.
- If your child has hay fever every day, it’s a good idea to give him the antihistamine all during the pollen season.
- Your doctor may prescribe a nasal spray.
- You can use warm water or saltwater nosedrops to wash pollen out of the nose. Put 2 or 3 drops in each nostril. Then have your child blow his nose.
Shower your child and wash his hair every night before bed.
- This will clean away the pollen. Your child should have fewer symptoms at night.
Help your child stay away from pollen and other things that may cause hay fever.
- Make sure your child stays away when someone cuts grass.
- Your child should stay indoors when it is windy or if there is a lot of pollen in the air.
- Make sure your child stays away from anything that causes his hay fever.
Wash your child’s itchy or watery eyes.
- Wash your child’s face and eyelids with water. That will clean away any pollen.
- Put a cold wet cloth on your child’s eyelids for 10 minutes.
Call your child’s doctor during office hours if:
- The hay fever does not get better after your child takes medicine for 2 days.
- Your child gets sinus pain or pressure.
- You have other questions or concerns.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick”, American Academy of Pediatrics Books. Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2008-08-11
Last reviewed: 2011-06-06 This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Pediatric Advisor 2011.4 Index
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