Doctor Sue says: Cold temperatures continue to linger in some parts of the country but the calendar says spring has sprung, ushering in spring allergy season. Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal passages typically caused by tree pollens and grasses that are blown in with March winds and April breezes.
The most common allergy symptoms include itchy noses, watery red eyes, sneezing, runny nose (which is usually clear), and post nasal drip causing an irritating cough. These allergic symptoms are brought on by the release of histamines in the body which occurs after being exposed to allergens like tree pollens.
Children do not develop allergies until the age of 3 or 4.
If a parent has allergies, there is a 40-50% chance that their child may develop allergies and if both parents are allergic there is a 70-80% chance that their child will have allergies as well. If your child has allergies, talk with your pediatrician and begin treating them with over the counter antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra or Benadryl. Nasal steroids are also helpful. The beautiful spring air blows outdoor pollens into your home, so keep all the windows closed and turn on the air conditioner if necessary. Check the pollen count in your area and be prepared for warmer days and a few more sniffles.
I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge