Ways to help young hayfever sufferers hayfever-280

Hayfever is apparently rare in children under 5 year old, but as many parents will tell you, the signs of hayfever in babies and toddlers is a very real problem, allergy specialist Max Wiseberg says.

The symptoms are similar to those of a cold or a virus, but if the symptoms continue for several weeks and there is no fever, then it is almost certainly some sort of summer allergy.

If it only happens at a certain time of year – spring or summer (or both) then it is probably seasonal allergic rhinitis (it's official name) says Dr Wiseberg. It is advisable to visit your GP and get it properly diagnosed.

Hayfever symptoms in youg children

· Sneezing

· Runny nose

· Itchy, sore or red eyes

· Watering eyes

· Itchy ears

· Itchy throat

· Itchy roof of mouth

Pollen counts are higher in the mornings and afternoon/evenings so you might find symptoms are worse at these times.

There are no cures for airborne allergies and avoidance of the allergen is the best possible way to deal with them – when it is practical. There are over the counter remedies available, none of which are suitable for babies of less than one year old. Many parents would not want to start giving their babies or toddlers pharmaceutical remedies if they can be avoided.

Ideas to help symptoms and avoid anti histamines

· Apply HayMaxTM organic allergen barrier balms to the bottom of the nose, to trap the allergens before they get in. These have been proven to trap over 1/3 of pollen and 8 out of ten in a recent trial said it helped with all or some of their symptoms.

· For itchy eyes, buy a pair of wraparound sunglasses. You can apply the balm to the skin behind the frames of the sunglasses, too.

· If you can, try not to take your child outside when the pollen count is high – especially not in the mornings and early evenings.

· Use a pollen screen on open windows.

· Keep car windows shut when driving. Many modern cars have pollen filters - make sure this is changed regularly.

· Pollen will cling to hair and clothes, so wash hair and change clothes when you come in. Don't dry clothes outside, especially not in the mornings or early evening.

· Pollen clings to pet fur so try to keep pets away and don't let them in bedrooms.

For more information on managing hayfever, visit the managing allergies section here.


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