My kids have been sneezing like crazy and their noses have been running for weeks. My pediatrician says they have allergic rhinitis, a.k.a allergies.
Allergic rhinitis is believed to affect 20% of all adults and up to 40% of children.
On any given day, 10,000 American children miss school because of allergic rhinitis, for an annual total of 2 million lost school days.
If you as a parent think your kids have allergies, there's a good chance you're on to something. The question is: When are kid's allergies bad enough to give them allergy medication daily? My kids are young (1 an 4-yrs old) so I can't imagine giving them Claritin or Zyrtec everyday. I try not to give them medicine unless they really need it for health reasons. But I am also worried about the expense! That would be awfully pricey!
According to keepkidsehealthy.com, these are the warning signs that you need address your child's allergies:
- The most common symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose with clear drainage, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, sore throat, throat clearing and a cough that may be worse at night and in the morning.
- Other signs of having allergic rhinitis include the 'allergic salute,' a common habit of children which consists of rubbing their nose upward. This is usually because the nose is itchy and this practice can lead to a small crease in the skin of the lower part of the nose.
- Children with allergic rhinitis also commonly have 'allergic shiners,' which are dark circles under the eyes caused by nasal congestion.
- Get rid of dust collectors, including heavy drapes, upholstered furniture, & stuffed animals.
- Use an airtight, allergy-proof plastic cover on all mattresses, pillows and box springs.
- Wash all bedding and stuffed animals in hot water every 7-14 days.
- If you must keep pets in the house, at least keep them out of your child's bedroom and wash your pet each week to remove surface allergens.
- Avoid exposing your child to molds by keeping him away from damp basements or water-damaged areas of your home (check under carpets).
- Remove carpeting if possible.
- Vacuum frequently (when your child is not in the room, since many of the things that cause allergies are small enough to go back out of the vacuum cleaner bag).
- Cover air vents with filters.
- Avoid the use of ceiling fans.
- For seasonal allergies, keep windows closed in the car and home to avoid exposure to pollens and limit outdoor activities when pollen counts are highest (early morning for spring time tree pollens, afternoon and early evening for summer grasses, and in the middle of the day for ragweed in the fall)
- Consider using a HEPA filter to control airborne allergens (these only work if what you are allergic to is airborne, which doesn't include dust mites and mold).
- Keep indoor humidity low, since dust mites and mold increase in high humidity.
Provide a smoke-free environment for your child (it is not enough to simply smoke outside).
I do have Zyrtec for my four-year-old, but I don't give it to him everyday. On days he seems miserable, I give it to him. I think you have to be really consistent with the medication for it to work appropriately, so what I am doing probably isn't the best. However, it works for us!
Do your kids have allergies?-NewsAnchorMom Jen