All three of my kids have seasonal allergies. The boys are considered severely allergic to a lot of things (and that’s not even counting Simon’s food allergy.) And my daughter is considered to have moderate seasonal allergies.
While I’m not surprised that my kids have allergies (Even Steven and I have both had allergies our entire lives,) I have been surprised at how much I needed to learn in order to help my allergy-prone kids function at certain times of the year.
So – how do you find relief for your kids with moderate to severe allergies?
Well, the good news is that there are a LOT of things that help. The bad news is that there are a LOT of things that help – and not one thing that does it all.
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned over the years:
First, let’s start with a disclaimer. I am not a doctor. I am not licensed to give you medical advice. This is what has worked for our family with the guidance of a pediatric allergist and through trial and error. But you really should consult your own doctor before putting any of this into action.
- Accept that Allergy Symptoms can be Sneaky
This was a frustrating learning curve for me, but not all allergy symptoms are the same. While my oldest has swollen eyes, a runny nose and sneezes for days, my daughter shows none of those signs. She’s just cranky and exhausted 24/7. I have no problem with a runny nose or sneezing, but my ears hurt when I forget my allergy medication. And my husband simply has allergy brain fog. Our youngest seems to have a combination of all of this – he’s tired. He’s cranky. His nose runs. He sneezes. Yes, we are a load of fun during allergy season!
- Talk to your Doctor
We’ve found through trial and error that one remedy does not work for everyone when it comes to treating our seasonal allergies. A pediatric allergist along with our family doctor has helped each of us find a regimen that provides relief. And it’s a little different for all of us.My boys have severe allergies that required allergy testing, inhalers and ultimately allergy shots. My daughter is in the more moderate category and simply takes an over-the-counter allergy pill at certain times of the year. If you think your kids have seasonal allergies, check with your pediatrician to start finding relief.
- Don’t Settle
For two years, I gave my oldest an allergy pill and thought that was really all I could do to help. Turns out, there was so much more that I could have been doing. Our allergist helped us find the right “layering” of allergy medication that really made a difference in his symptoms. We made changes to our environment (keep reading) that also helped. Don’t suffer if you’re not seeing results from your current regimen.
- Nightly Showers are (Probably) Required
All five of us take a quick shower before bed every night to remove the allergens from our skin, open our airways and help us sleep better at night. This step is two-fold; first, it makes sure we don’t transfer pollen and other allergens to our beds. Second, it helps us get a better night’s sleep – which is critical when we’re already feeling irritable from allergies.While our pediatrician actually recommends that we shower the kids immediately after they come in from playing outside, it usually isn’t a practical option for us. The kids are in and out all summer long, and we do the best we can.
- Experiment with your Diet
While it doesn’t seem to impact the boys in our family, my daughter and I have found that eliminating dairy during allergy season helps us feel a whole lot better. I did a little research, and apparently we’re not alone. In some people, dairy can thicken mucous secretions, making unpleasant allergy symptoms even less tolerable. Weird, right?
When I avoid dairy, my allergy ear pain is much better, and my daughter isn’t as exhausted. It makes zero difference for the boys, though, so definitely experiment with your family and – again – what works for one may not work for another.
- Start Before You Need It
One thing I’ve quickly learned over the last few years is that it’s important to start your allergy treatment plan a few weeks before you need it. By starting early, you can get a head start on treating your symptoms.
Did you know that trees can begin releasing pollen weeks before they actually start budding? Most weather apps these days also help you track pollen and mold levels in your area. This helps us pinpoint when allergy season starts and begin treatment immediately.
- Protect Your Environment
Remember when I talked about things you can do around the house to help with allergies? If your child is allergic to pollen, you need to keep the windows closed (and the pollen outside). You’ll also want to have them change their clothes when they come in from outside. Wash their sheets at least once a week and vacuum often.If your kids have an indoor allergy (like dust mites or mold), invest in dust mite covers for their pillowcases and mattress and make sure you’re running a dehumidifier in your home to remove moisture. Click here to see what else we do to keep our home allergen free.
- Avoid Allergens if you have to…
When we were first dealing with allergy symptoms at our house, a large part of our strategy was avoiding allergens whenever possible. We limited outdoor time, kept our dog away from the youngest (who tested positive for a slight allergy to dogs). It was a giant pain in the behind, especially with little kids.Now that we have an effective, layered approach to combating allergy symptoms, we no longer need to avoid the things that make us sneeze. But you might need to until you find a regimen that works for you.On days when pollen levels are high in your area, you may even want to limit time outside for a few hours if possible. (Here’s a fun activity to do with your kids if you’re stuck inside due to seasonal allergies.)
- Help relieve Irritable Allergy Symptoms
We keep a constant supply of Boogie Wipes on hand during allergy season to help soothe sore noses and prevent nosebleeds.Boogie Wipes are made with natural saline, aloe and chamomile and are a great alternative to dry tissues. When my kids are wiping their noses all day long due to allergies, dry tissues can make their noses crusty, chapped and irritated – which can lead to nosebleeds at night. Boogie Wipes not only keep their noses from getting sore, it also keeps them moisturized.
We also use Boogie Mist (read more about that here) every single night to keep their nose membranes nice and moist. While we still get bloody noses on occasion during allergy season, our saline mist and wipe routine has helped considerably.
- Learn More!
If you’re still not sure where to start, visit BoogieWipes.com to learn more about seasonal allergies and how to find relief. From how to tell if your kids have allergies or a cold to what to do for mild to moderate allergy symptoms, Boogie Wipes can help.
This post is part of a partnership with Boogie Wipes.