ACHOO! Does your child have allergies?

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This spring could be the worst season in years for allergy sufferers. Alzein Pediatric Associates doesn’t want your child to be among those whose enjoyment of the sunny weather is cut short by unbearable symptoms, so we’re providing information to help you help your child combat allergy season.

Our early warm weather means earlier – and more – pollen blooms. While it doesn’t seem that anything is really “blooming” today, the trees and shrubs that are unfurling now are putting out massive amounts of pollen, and the grasses will soon follow. When your child inhales that pollen and she is allergic, her immune system believes the pollen is dangerous, like a virus, bacteria or other foreign substance. Her body then produces antibodies, which release histamines into her blood. Those histamines are what trigger the uncomfortable symptoms of allergies.

While allergies make us think of sneezing, that’s not the body’s only response to irritating substances. Other symptoms can be confused with a summer cold that just won’t resolve itself or an ever-present upset stomach. Your child may also exhibit:

  • red, watery or itchy eyes – which can lead to conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • coughing, congestion and difficulty breathing
  • runny nose
  • rashes and itching
  • swelling
  • abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea

Allergies can also trigger gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can affect your child’s long-term health.

Because these symptoms aren’t always associated with allergies, it’s important to get your child screened for allergic reactions when symptoms persist for more than a week. At Alzein Pediatrics, we’ll perform a thorough physical exam and a complete allergy screening to identify the cause of your child’s discomfort. We’ll then put a plan in place to relieve that discomfort as quickly as possible. Starting any medications or control methods before allergy season begins can be an effective way to prevent the most severe reactions.

Other ways to help keep reactions under control include:

  • using air conditioning, which filters pollen and other irritants from the air
  • staying inside between 10 am and 4 pm when pollen counts are highest
  • stay inside on breezy days as pollen is carried by the wind
  • keeping doors and windows closed
  • washing clothes immediately when returning to the house after outdoor play
  • taking a shower and washing hair immediately when returning to the house after outdoor play

Alzein Pediatric Associates wants your child to enjoy spring! If you have any questions about allergy management or to make an appointment for an allergy screening, call us at 708-424-7600. We can make a same-day appointment or see your family in the evening hours.