What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

SPRINGTIME ALLERGIES & KIDS

     Home  >  Articles  > Health & Fitness Guide
by James Fagin, M.D.

Related: spring, allergies, kids, hay fever, doctor, dust mites, pollenhigh I,



  Spring has finally arrived—a welcome relief after a cold winter. Yet, as Long Islanders and other New Yorkers know, the onset of milder weather also heralds the start of the springtime pollen season, which bodes misery for all those who suffer with hay fever.

    The term “hay fever” is actually a misnomer. This condition is not caused by exposure to hay, nor is it associated with fever. The correct medical term is “allergic rhinitis” and it affects about 20 percent of the adult population and up to 40 percent of children. In fact, children miss two million-school days each year because of this condition.

    While children do not inherit a specific allergy from their parents, they do inherit the genetic predisposition to be an allergic person. The specific allergies that an individual develops are influenced by a number of factors, including the timing, intensity and duration of exposure to environmental allergens, such as pollens, mold spores, dust mites, feathers and animal dander.

    Each region of the country has its own pollen season. Here in the Northeast, trees pollinate in the early spring, grasses in the late spring, mold spores and common weeds are prevalent in the summer months and ragweed in the fall.


Four Cardinal Symptoms

Children plagued with allergic rhinitis may exhibit the following:
1. Nasal congestion
2. Watery nasal secretions
3. Nasal itchiness
4. Sneezing.
In addition, many children suffer with post-nasal drip, cough, sore throat and itchy, watery eyes. These kids have difficulty sleeping at night and trouble concentrating at school. Upper respiratory infections—or head colds—caused by respiratory viruses, can mimic symptoms of allergic rhinitis.


Allergy or Cold?

    There are some important differences that distinguish allergic rhinitis from head colds. Upper respiratory infections usually occur in the winter and are often accompanied by fever and thick, yellow or green nasal discharge. Head colds are contagious, so other family members may have identical symptoms.

    Allergic rhinitis is not associated with fever and nasal secretions are clear and watery. With seasonal allergic rhinitis, there is a relationship between the severity of symptoms and the pollen count— the higher the pollen count, the worse the symptoms.

    The best treatment for any allergic disease is to identify the cause of the allergy and then, if possible, avoid that allergen. The most accurate method of identifying specific allergies is to take a thorough history and then perform selective prick skin testing guided by that history. Blood tests can also be used to identify allergies, but are less sensitive than skin testing for environmental allergens.

    It’s difficult to completely avoid airborne pollens, but you can limit your child’s exposure by keeping in mind the following: Tree pollen counts are highest in the morning hours, ragweed at midday and grass pollen in the afternoon, so outdoor activities should be avoided at those times and windows kept closed. Air conditioners should be kept on and filters changed frequently. Also, dog and cat owners should bathe their pets frequently since they can carry pollens in their fur.


James Fagin, M.D., is an attending physician within the Division of Allergy/Immunology at Schneider Children’s Hospital and Director of the Hospital’s Center for Childhood Asthma.





Boredom buster

Be a parent in the know
Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Health & Fitness Guide Articles

Springtime Allergies & Kids
How To Keep Kids Healthy at Camp
FUTURE FORECASTS for 2000
New Motherhood … A Recipe For Back Pain?
Summer Hair Care for Young Campers and Swimmers

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Health & Fitness Guide Sponsors


Be The Best Sport
30 Beechwood Ave.
Port Washington, NY
516-453-0990
Be The Best Sport is 501(c)(3) adaptive sports pro...

Hanson Place Orthodontics
One Hanson Place, Suite 707
Brooklyn, NY
718-622-2695
Hello everyone! Thank you for taking the time to v...

Great Play of Woodmere
1012 Railroad Ave.
Woodmere, NY
516-341-0050
GREAT PLAY: A UNIQUE INTERACTIVE GYM WHERE WE MAKE...

Bayview Swim Club
217-14 24th Ave.
Bay Terrace, NY
718-428-0100
The Bayview Swim Club Swim Program is based on the...

Simons, Loralyn
917-856-5884
If your child struggles with math, private tutorin...
See Our Health & Fitness Guide Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE