Dental Health Topics

First time allergies? What you need to know.

Spring is finally arriving! Swing open the shutters, dust off that picnic blanket, and scoop up the kids for a date at the park! Oh wait…it’s allergy season. Don’t forget your nasal spray, don’t stay outside for too long, and in fact…just stay inside forever. If you’re familiar with seasonal allergies, your springtime experience might push you towards the latter extreme. But spring is for us all, so let’s get you some info that can help make this season a little more fun for your sweetie. Read on!

Know the Symptoms

After your child has been exposed to a couple spring seasons, they may develop seasonal allergies, which are the body’s way of overreacting to things like tree, grass or weed pollen, or mold spores in the air. Most of us do just fine breathing these things in or touching a pretty flower. But for your little one who reacts with sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, or itchy watery eyes, they likely have seasonal allergies. An important note – if you see green or yellow mucus coming out of that cute little nose, or if your child has a fever, that likely means they have a cold instead.

Note: If your child is experiencing wheezing or an itchy throat, seek medical help immediately. Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening.

Keep a Diary

If you see these symptoms in your little ones, you’ll want to take note of when they show up, what the symptoms are, how severe they are, and other important details you think your doctor will want to know. If you notice a pattern, such as every time they hang out in a certain yard with certain weeds…write it down! This will be helpful for both your doctor to diagnose as well as you to plan your child’s activities.

See Your Pediatrician

Your pediatrician is your go-to when determining if your child has seasonal allergies and knowing what to do about it. They will know which over-the-counter or prescription remedy will be best for your child, whether it’s a pill, nasal spray, eye drop, or allergy shot. They may also refer you to an allergist who will be able to tell you specifically what your child is allergic to. If you’ve needed an excuse to move to a different climate with less pollen…here’s your chance!

You may also want to bring up seasonal allergies during your child’s next dental visit. Frequent mouth-breathing (due to congestion), can affect the angle at which your child’s teeth come in.

What Else Can You Do?

You can mitigate your child’s exposure to pollens and molds, and help provide some immediate relief. Here are some ideas:
  • Bathe at night. After a day of playing, you’ll want to wash off any pollen that may have gotten on your child’s skin or hair. Also consider throwing their clothes right into the wash.
  • Check the pollen forecast. Generally, pollen counts are highest in the morning on warm breezy days and lowest during more wet or colder weather.
  • Keep windows closed. Keep the pollen out in the first place.
  • Turn on the air conditioner. Cool, clean air does wonders.
  • Use an air filter or air purifier. Make sure your home is equipped with the right air filters and that your filtration system is well-maintained.  
  • Consider mold in the home. If your child reacts to air within the home, you may want to hire a professional to come check things out.
  • Use a cold compress. Have your child hold a cold compress over their itchy eyes to reduce the itch and inflammation.
Above all, don’t let seasonal allergies ruin the fun of spring (or summer…or fall…). Talk to your pediatrician, try to mitigate exposure, and find fun things that your child can do to still enjoy the seasons.