As a Family Nurse Practitioner, Cami Kesler shares 3 PEDIATRIC PEARLS to help you and your little ones not just survive but thrive as the seasons change.
One of the most important things you can learn about allergies is the variation in symptoms that differentiate it from the common cold.
Three signs that it IS allergies and NOT a cold would include:
- Symptoms show up as soon as your child is exposed to an allergen
- Symptoms are triggered whenever seasons change
- Symptoms last indefinitely or as long as your child is exposed to the allergen
A proper clinical diagnosis of seasonal allergies is consistent with the following:
- clear nasal drainage
- nasal congestion
- pale discoloration of the nasal mucosa (not green)
- red / watery eyes
- possibly an itchy nose, or sneezing (1).
It can be overwhelming as a parent to know for sure what certain symptoms mean. You may find the following PEDIATRIC PEARL helpful:
Keep a journal of daily symptoms, recognize that a cough lasting longer than two weeks requires further evaluation, and remembering that worsening or uncontrolled symptoms after starting medications, requires further medical workup.
Children are resilient and it takes a lot for them to skip out on recess, riding their bike, or going on a camping trip. If seasonal allergies routinely slow your child down, it’s important as a parent to be prepared to help counteract those negative, seasonal symptoms.
Consider changes in season, different environments, allergy testing, second-hand smoke, and animals. Once your child’s symptoms are diagnosed as seasonal allergies, you will become very familiar with knowing “when the gate opens” and what can trigger symptoms.
As a parent, you make an impact by helping your child to avoid those triggers and treat the symptoms. There are a variety of over-the-counter allergy medications to consider when your child is faced with allergies so consult with your provider to implement a consistent oral and nasal medication regimen.
In our house, we practice year-round cootie control by establishing proper hand washing techniques, sneeze into your arm not your hand, and well-balanced nutrition. These preventive measures make a difference in reducing the spread of bacteria. As a parent, you can do the same when it comes to seasonal allergies.
While the verdict is still out on exactly how an individual is allergic to particular allergens, research shows that most symptoms will appear in children older than 4-6 years (3).
She recommends the following to inhibit or help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms:
- Vitamin C to boost the immune system and the body’s natural antihistamine response
- Saline nasal irrigation
- Daily probiotic
- Cold compress to help soothe, itchy puffy eyes
- Warm compresses to help open nasal passages and relieve sinus headaches
Visit Cami for more Pediatric Pearls on Instagram @camikesler_nursepractitioner