Symptoms of Hayfever
Many kids are lucky enough to be fit and healthy and resilient to all sorts of bugs and nasties. They are the kids that get a 100% attendance rate at school because they are never ill! Our kids are just like that. As the older generations would say ‘they have a strong constitution’! It was a bit of a surprise then, when the eldest child at the age of eight, got a really nasty bout of hayfever in May, just as the tree pollen was at it’s strongest. After a trip to the doctor to confirm what we suspected she took a dose of antihistamine each day and battled through until the pollen count subsided, and unfortunately, she has struggled every May since then.
It is not uncommon for kids to suddenly develop hayfever at the age of seven or eight. You can spot the signs if they develop a runny nose and sneeze constantly. Their nose and eyes itch and appear slightly reddened, eyes can be puffy too. Look out for the signs between March and October. If they don’t have the same symptoms in the winter months then they are likely to have hayfever. Kids can be allergic to other things too of course, like pets or dust, so you should ask the doctor just to be sure.
The pollen that trees and grass give off cause the hayfever symptoms. If your child has symptoms in spring he or she is likely to be allegic to tree pollen such as that from birch, elder or hazel trees. In the summer, the grass pollen is problematic - if your child sneezes all the way through July or August then blame the grass.
Fortunately, antihistamine medicine and tablets are widely and cheaply available. Speak to the pharmacist about something suitable for your child. Benadryl is good and doesn’t taste too nasty! Some antihistamines will work better than others, so it is worth trying something else if the first antihistamine medication seems to be ineffective. In addition, you may find that one particular brand is really helpful, then the next year for some reason, it can be no good at all! Some brands tend to make your child drowsy, so best to avoid these if they are off to school. Antihistamine eye drops are excellent as a child who constantly itches their eyes can intoduce infection or irritate the delicate eye area even further.
One tip that our doctor gave to us was to put some vaseline around our daughter’s nose to trap pollen before it was inhaled and to get a pair of groovy wrap around sunglasses to wear outside to prevent pollen irritating her eyes. She was ok wearing the glasses until she got older and became fashion conscious. Nowadays, she will wear glasses, but only if they are ridiculously oversized and she can look like a film star!