Treating Children with Hay Fever

By Sarah Smith, enduring and never embarrassing mum and founder of Medi-Redi

The weather has been lovely recently and thank goodness as it certainly makes entertaining the little ones a bit easier.  Unfortunately it also means it is Hay fever season – runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and amidst a global pandemic it’s not surprising many parents immediately worry it could be Coronavirus symptoms.

If you are concerned use the NHS 111 online service at 111.nhs.uk and stay at home. Here is a helpful link regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for children, young people and families.

Hay fever

With the pollen count reaching the highest in 50 years people are suffering more than ever. However, before you start trying to treat it, make sure your child is actually suffering from hay fever first.

Hay fever can begin as early as 18 months of age, when children are exposed to pollens or house dust mites. The symptoms of hay fever can be similar to a cold and flu so it’s easy to get them mixed up and important to know which one your child is suffering with first.

Hay fever generally tends to hit between March and September, when plants are pollinating and temperatures are changing. That’s a 6-month window for hay fever and people will suffer at different times depending on which specific type of pollen they are allergic to. There are also certain times of day when hay fever is worse – usually in the morning and the late afternoon, between 5pm and 7pm.

Symptoms To Look Out For:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • runny nose
  • blocked nose
  • itchy ears, nose, throat and roof of the mouth
  • red, itchy, swollen and/or watery eyes
  • headaches.

A couple of ways to identify whether or not it is hay fever is to check if they have a temperature which is not a symptom of Hay fever and look out for itchy eyes which is a common symptom of Hay fever.

What Causes Hay Fever?

Hay fever is triggered by what we breathe in. The mucus and small hairs in the nose will trap dust, pollens and other tiny particles.  Hay fever sufferers are allergic to some of the particles that get trapped in their nose.

Triggers include:

  • pollen from flowers, trees and grass
  • dust mites
  • animal fur or hair (dander)
  • mould spores
  • cigarette smoke

If your child has perennial (all year) hay fever, they will most likely be allergic to dust mites, animal dander and/or mould spores.

 Treating Hay Fever

Unfortunately, there is no cure for hay fever, but there are medicines which will help alleviate the symptoms.  Ask your local pharmacist for advice as it will depend on the age of your child.

Here are a few things you can do help:

  • putting vaseline around their nose will help trap pollen and stop it getting into their nose
  • when they are outside, make sure they are wearing sunglasses (preferably wraparound) to stop pollen getting in their eyes
  • after they have been outside, give them a bath/shower and change their clothes to remove any pollen. It’s advisable to do the same yourself
  • avoid drying clothes outside
  • keep an eye on daily pollen counts and if particularly high try and keep them indoors
  • keep the windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • pollen, bacteria, dust and mites can thrive in carpets so vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • if you or your child are suffering badly, consider buying an air purifier with HEPA filter

Finally, if all else fails an ice cream and a cuddle can work wonders!

 

* Medi-Redi are offering a discount of £25 for any orders placed before the 5th July 2020. Use coupon code withlove