Seasonal Allergy Healthy Hints
The most common culprits in seasonal allergies include: dust mites which are around all year long but often worse in the winter, tree pollen which runs from February to May in our area, grass/pollen from May to June, and ragweed from August to October.
Pollen counts are highest from 5:00 – 10:00 AM and on warm, breezy days. Chilly, wet days can bring some relief to the high pollen counts.
If you suspect your child has seasonal allergies some symptoms they child may experience include: an itchy sore throat, a stuffy runny nose, a feeling of tightness in the lungs, and puffy, itchy watery eyes. These symptoms usually appear 5 - 10 minutes after exposure and last about an hour.
Avoidance is a key to minimizing symptoms. Try avoiding outside play or activities until later in the morning or afternoon, circumventing peak hours. Listen to daily weather reports for pollen counts to plan your time outdoors. If your family suffers from allergies keep windows closed and use an air conditioner if possible, even in the car. If you have been outside, wash your hands and face when coming in. Also, it will help to change and launder your clothes since pollen remains on the fabric. Avoid drying clothes outdoors as well. Wearing sunglasses may keep pollen from your eyes.
If you are suffering from allergies, there are many medications for treatment of the symptoms. Consult your doctor for what would be best for you and/or your child. If your child suffers during allergy season, feel free to contact me so we can work together to make him or her as comfortable as possible. Also remember that students are not allowed to self administer any medication. All medications, including over the counter eye drops or nasal sprays, must be given to me with a doctor’s note. If your child’s allergies are so severe that you feel he or she needs to stay in at lunchtime, a note is required.
Sometimes the allergies progress to other conditions - conjunctivitis, sinus infections and asthma. If you or your child experiences purulent drainage from the eyes, severe headaches, runny nose with yellow discharge, wheezing or difficulty breathing contact your doctor for further treatment. Often, parents/guardians are concerned whether the symptoms are cold or allergy related. Below is a quick reference to explain the differences. Of course, if you are unsure, call your doctor for further advice.
Sneezing, runny nose and cough appear one at a time
Sneezing, runny nose and cough appear all at once
Last 7-10 days
Persists throughout a season
Clear, watery drainage
Often a low grade fever
Rarely associated with a fever
Occurs most often during the winter
Spring and Fall