Article at a Glance
Spring signals the start of three different pollen seasons in Utah. In the spring we get tree pollen, in the summer it is grass and weed pollen, and in the late summer and fall it is ragweed. People with environmental allergies might also be sensitive to things like dust mites, mold, or pet dander.
If your child seems to constantly have a cold during this time of year, you might want to make sure it isn’t seasonal allergies. Here are some things to look for.
Although you can’t cure allergies, there are some things you can do to reduce symptoms.
During pollen season try to stay in doors as much as possible, especially on windy days. If you do go outside, change your clothes, wash them right away, and if possible take a shower. This will help keep the pollen out of your house.
Instead of cooling your house off by opening the windows, keep your windows closed and turn on the air conditioner. This will keep any new allergens out and the air conditioner helps filter out any allergens already inside your home. It is also a good idea to keep your lawn cut short and to not let it go to seed.
Medications such as antihistamines or nasal spray steroids can help control allergy symptoms. But before you buy over-the-counter medication for your child, talk to your pediatrician. Together you can discuss what kinds of medicine are age-appropriate for your child and whether or not you should consider any prescription medications.
If your child’s environmental allergies are severe enough, you might want to consider allergen immunotherapy. It involves injecting small amounts of the allergen into your body so that you can build up antibodies to fight the allergies. It won’t cure the allergies, but it can reduce your symptoms.
You can control a lot of symptoms by keeping your home clean and free of pollen, dust, and mold. Avoid using carpets, rugs, or heavy drapes in your child’s room. Remove any items that allow dust to accumulate. Be sure to clean bedding frequently. And a shower before bedtime can help eliminate any allergens that are stuck on your skin or hair.
If your child is allergic to dust mites, getting special covers for pillows and mattresses can be helpful. Inspect your home for any damp or humid areas where mold might flourish.
If you have pets they should be cleaned regularly and kept out of the room where your child sleeps. Even if your child isn’t allergic to pets, they can bring in other allergens on their fur.
Read more about dealing with asthma flare-ups during this time of year.