Helping children with hay fever symptoms can be a challenge. As adults, we can understand the frustrations of hay fever allergies, but for a child who just wants to enjoy spending time outdoors, hay fever symptoms can be a problem.
While there is no cure for hay fever, thankfully there are ways to help children manage hay fever symptoms.
Hay Fever Medicines for Children
There are some over the counter medicines for children with hay fever. If you are unsure, as a pharmacist for advice. A doctor will also be able to prescribe hay fever medicines.
Younger children may not like taking medicines, and can be stubborn about it! Take time to explain gently that it will help get rid of itchy eyes and sneezes, and make it much easier to spend time outside.
Older children may like more control over hay fever medicines, such as being allowed to put eye drops in by themselves. This will help give them confidence in managing hay fever.
Child friendly hay fever medicines are nasal balms that help catch pollen before it enters the nose. Vaseline also works. Another child-safe hay fever treatment is saline nose sprays.
Discourage Face Touching
When eyes are unbearably itchy, rubbing them is very, very hard to resist. The problem with this is that once the eye is rubbed, it trigger a release of histamine that makes the tissue swell and the blood vessels in the eye dilate, causing bloodshot eyes. They also become even itchier and the cycle begins again.
Explain this to your child, and encourage them not to touch their face where possible. This is because pollen that is on the fingers may be transferred to the eyes and nose, as well as the effects that happen when eyes are rubbed.
For younger children, this may be hard to do, so look for ways to distract them. Choose acivities that keep hands and minds busy, such as blowing bubbles or colouring in.
Older children may get relief from itchy eyes by immediately washing with water, or using eye drops. Read more on how to reduce puffy eyes from hay fever.
Remind them to Wash Hands Frequently
Pollen can easily be transferred from hands to the eyes and nose. It is amazing how many time we touch our faces in a single hour. Reminding children to wash their hands, especially after playing outdoors, will help to reduce the amount of pollen reaching the eyes and nose.
Plenty of Understanding
A child with hay fever will be feeling irritated and frustrated. This may mean more mood swings and temper tantrums than usual. It may even cause depression in some children.
It is important to be understanding about how having hay fever might make them feel, and offer lots of cuddles and the odd treat or two.
Wash Bed Linen
Wash and change bed linen frequently. Always make sure bed linen is dried indoors so no pollen grains stick to them. This will help ease congestion at night time, helping your child to get a restful night’s sleep.
Use an Air Purifier
An air purifier will remove pollen and other allergy causing particles from the air. While eliminating pollen from every room in your home is not practical, aim to have rooms that are pollen free zones so you child has somewhere to retreat to if their hay fever symptoms become too much.
Air purifiers are particularly effective to use in a child’s bedroom, helping to relieve symptoms and help them get quality sleep. Some also double as a night light.
Stay Indoors in the Mornings
The pollen count is usually at its highest in the morning, so save any outdoor activities for the afternoons.
Stay Positive and Provide Alternative Activities
Having hay fever symptom is frustrating for adults, but can be even more so for children. Often, warm days mean playing out with friends, but for those who suffer with hay fever, it can mean missing out when symptoms are bad.
Try to keep you child feeling positive by providing other entertaining activities that can be done indoors. Maybe spend some time with them playing a board game, or colouring in together.
Having you there will also encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling, rather than letting frustrations build up.
For parents, it can be hard to see your child struggle with hay fever. These with severe reactions may even miss school, or be unable to take part in ever day activities. Unless carefully managed, it may also affect their emotional well-being.
If your child is finding hay fever difficult to manage with over the counter medicines, make an appointment to see a doctor. You will be able to get advice on stronger hay fever treatments, and then decide whether they would be a good choice for your child.