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Spring is just around the corner ... with all its seasonal allergies.


Spring is just around the corner with all its seasonal allergies

Spring brings longer days, sunshine and warmer weather, making us want to be outdoors after spending so much time indoors during the winter months. But Spring also brings the very annoying problem of seasonal allergies of which so many people suffer, including children.

Allergies are caused by airborne pollens, that in the spring start to fill the air and may cause allergic rhinitis in people who are predisposed to the development of an allergic condition. But how can you tell if your child is predisposed to seasonal allergies and what are the remedies?

The first thing to do is to monitor the symptoms. In some ways they are similar to a common cold, with itching nose, sneezing, swollen runny eyes and a cough. Allergic conjunctivitis causes red, watery, itchy or gritty eyes, and may make eyes sensitive to light. If your child begins to experience any of these symptoms in Spring, it is a good idea consult a specialist for a check up.

Remember that the time of the year in which a person may start to experience these symptoms depends of the type of pollens to which the person is allergic: for some it may be the beginning of Spring and for others it may be a little later.

The most sensible advice is to keep your child as far as possible from the source of the allergy. If the allergy is caused by dust or animal hair, it is simpler to deal with, but if your child suffers from allergic rhinitis caused by pollen, it is almost impossible to keep him or her away from the pollens that are causing the allergy. Try to avoid more critical situations - such as a trip to the countryside on a sunny windy day - and take precautions to reduce exposure, such as keeping the car windows up.

On the whole, it is advisable not to allow children who suffer from allergies to spend too much time outdoors in the middle of the day. It is a good idea to get them to wear sunglasses and, if necessary, even a mask during walks and bike rides.

Also try to keep the windows shut in bedrooms and, as far as possible, avoid places with recently mown lawn or grass.

It is also a good idea to get your children to shower or take a bath frequently, in order to remove any pollen residues.

If you believe your child suffers from an allergy, it is very important to consult a paediatrician experienced in treating allergic complaints, who will advise you on the best treatment for your child’s symptoms.