Spring is here! The weather is warming up and flu season is almost over! This is the time of year for sun, fun, and relaxation. Unfortunately as the snow begins to melt away and the flowers begin to bloom, we start to see influx of children suffering from runny noses and watery eyes. 

The reason for the spike in allergy flare-ups in spring is due to the blooming trees, plants and flowers. Pollen and other products of nature get carried by the wind and end up in our nose, eyes, and lungs. When this happens our immune system reacts to the foreign elements and releases histamine. Histamine causes swelling and mucus production in the nose, redness and tearing in the eyes, and itching.  More seriously, it can cause wheezing, excess mucus production, and swelling in the lungs. Dr. Katie Friedman, board certified pediatrician and co-founder of ForeverFreckled.com, is going to go over some important tips and tricks to help you overcome the obstacles of  seasonal allergies.

Is it a cold or allergies?– Seasonal allergies and the common cold result in very similar symptoms; runny nose, sore throat, and cough. This can make it challenging for parents to know if their child needs to be evaluated by allergist. One of the most important differences the the length of time of symptoms. Cold symptoms on average will last an average of 10 to 14 days. If your child is suffering with symptoms for more than 14 days, it is important to have them evaluated by the pediatrician. Another important difference is the presence of a fever. Fever is rarely associated with seasonal allergies, however, is a common symptom of  upper respiratory infections. Although watery itchy eyes can occur during a cold, it is one of the hallmark symptoms  seasonal allergies. Whenever in doubt, it is best to have your child evaluated by a doctor.

Home Remedies- More and more parents turning to a more natural approach  to help alleviate their children’s allergy symptoms. There are many resources and organic products on the market that are effective to fight the symptoms od seasonal allergies. One of my favorites is eucalyptus oil.  A centuries-old natural remedy for nasal congestion and nighttime cough. Combined 1 ounce of coconut oil with 4 drops of eucalyptus oil and apply to their chest.

Just remember eucalyptus oil can be extremely dangerous if ingested by a small child.  This is a product that needs to properly stored in a area that is out of the reach of small children.

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What should I do to prepare for spring allergies?

1. Make an appointment with your Pediatrician now.  If your child suffers from seasonal allergies and asthma, make sure you have the prescriptions you need before your child starts to experience symptoms. As the snow begins to melt and the landscape begins to blossom, your child’s symptoms will begin to intensify. Speak to your doctor about a plan to fight against allergies before the season starts as it can be stressful for both you and your child.

2. Stock up on supplies. Make sure you have the tools you need to fight against allergies including  boogie wipes, antihistamines, decongestants, combination antihistamine/decongestants, and cromolyn nasal spray!

3. Spring Cleaning. Make sure to do a through cleaning of the house. Dust and mold can worsening your child’s allergies symptoms. A deep clean of your house just before the springtime will help to decrease indoor allergens. Although we all love the beautiful spring air, avoid keeping windows and doors open and have your child immediately change his or her clothes when coming inside from outdoor activities.