Seasonal allergies occur once the healthy body mounts an immune response to an allergen that your child has been exposed to. Your child may have many symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy ears, sneezing, post nasal drip, and mild cough. Remember: the ears, nose, throat, and eyes are all connected, so if your child has symptoms in one place they may have symptoms everywhere.
Reducing the Severity of Symptoms
- Avoid playing around flowerbeds or shrubbery.
- Put a hat on your child when they play outside.
- Wash your child’s hands & face as soon as they come inside. Use a wet towel to wipe arms & legs.
- Wash / rinse your child’s hair each night.
- Wash all bed sheets and pillowcases once a week (to avoid allergens easily collecting there!)
- Keep a sheet over your child’s bed if you have windows open and remove the sheet before they get in bed for nap time or bedtime.
There are several OTC medications you can use to help alleviate your child’s symptoms. To treat all their symptoms, you can use a nasal spray, eye drops, and oral allergy medicine all at once.
Nasal corticosteroids are the first line for seasonal allergy treatment. The medicine is deposited directly in the nose and does not go into the child’s entire body. The nasal steroids help reduce swelling in the nose and help to open up the nasal passages.
Flonase (fluticasone propionate): Can be used by children age 4 and up
• 4 yr-Adolescent: 1 spray (50 mcg) per nostril once daily
• Adult: 2 sprays per nostril once daily or 1 spray per nostril twice daily
Flonase Sensimist (fluticasone furoate): Can be used in children age 2 and up
• 2-11 yr: 1 spray (27.5 mcg) per nostril once daily
• 12 yr-Adult: 2 sprays (55 mcg) per nostril once daily
Nasacort (triamcinolone acetonide): Can be used by children age 2 and up
• 2-5 yr: 1 spray in per nostril once daily (110 mcg/24 hrs)
• 6-11 yr: 1 spray per nostril once daily, may increase to 2 sprays per nostril if needed (max dose 220 mcg/24 hrs)
• 12 yr-adult: 2 sprays per nostril once daily
Technique: The proper way to use nasal spray is to have your child lean forward, touch their chin to their chest, insert the nasal spray, and spray outwards towards the eyes. Staying away from the nose mid-line reduces risk of nosebleeds. If your child can do the spray themselves, they can avoid the mid-line by using opposite hands for opposite nostrils. Tip: if your child doesn’t like the taste of the spray, have them put an M&M or something sweet on their tongue during administration.
Nasal rinses are very helpful to clear nasal passages and remove any irritants.
• Neti Pot / Sinus Rinses
• Normal saline
• Saline gel (if your child’s nose is irritated)
Oral antihistamines can be very helpful to reduce symptoms, especially itchiness.
Allergy eye drops can help with any itchy/watery eyes.
Technique: The best way to apply eye drops is to have your child lie down/lean back, close their eyes, and put 1 drop in the corner of each eye. Let them blink the medicine into their eyes. Zaditor and Alaway can be used by children 3 and up. If your child is younger, please call our office at 301-279-6750 to speak with one of our medical advice nurses.
Click here to watch Dr. Neha Suri on ABC News and hear what she has to say about allergy season!