Debunking child seasonal allergy myths

Debunking child seasonal allergy myths

There are so many wonderful things about spring. Seasonal allergies are not one of those things. Common allergens, including pollen, mold spores and dander, trigger symptoms in people of all ages. There is a lot of circulating misinformation when it comes to kids and seasonal allergies.

Dr. Maaria Syed, an allergist and immunologist with Advocate Health Care who cares for pediatric and adult patients, dispels some of the common misconceptions about seasonal allergies in children.

Myth 1: Children don’t suffer from seasonal allergies

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in five children have a seasonal allergy. Boys are slightly more likely to have a seasonal allergy than girls. Often children with allergy symptoms have a parent who also suffers from seasonal allergies.

Myth 2: Allergy symptoms stay the same the entire season

As pollen and spore counts rise and fall throughout the course of the season, a child’s symptoms may worsen or improve. Many conditions affect the number of allergens present in the environment, including temperature, time of day, humidity, precipitation and wind.

Myth 3: There is nothing that can be done for a child with seasonal allergies

There are different treatment options that can help lessen symptoms and minimize suffering. Some children may benefit from allergy shots. Others might take allergy medication, such as antihistamines or nasal sprays, as directed by a physician. You can also help your child lower their exposure to allergens by changing clothing when coming indoors, keeping windows shut and using air purifiers inside your home.

Myth 4: Children with seasonal allergies don’t show symptoms

Children experience many of the same symptoms as adults with allergies – sneezing, sore throat, congestion, itchy eyes/nose. Children with allergies may present as a child who is getting sick often, snoring, and frequent congestion and coughing. This can lead to a child’s seasonal allergies not being identified and treated.

If you believe your child has seasonal allergies, consult their pediatrician, who can recommend next steps.

Find the best care for your child’s symptoms here: Illinois | Wisconsin 

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.