With warmer Spring weather bringing plants and flowers back to life, you may find your child's allergies waking up too. So, what can you do to alleviate runny noses, itchy eyes, and other cold-like symptoms caused by pollen, grass, and weeds? Here, Circle of Moms members share their tried-and true remedies for Spring allergies.
Many Circle of Moms members say they are reluctant to turn to over-the-counter or prescription medicines for allergies, instead opting for a holistic route when the Spring season strikes. Moms like Amanda G. suggest purchasing local honey at a farmers market, sharing that eating a small amount each day — either in hot tea or served alone — can help build up immunities to local allergens. "Local honey worked wonders for him," she says of her son. (Note that children under 1 year old should never be fed honey because of the risk of botulism).
In addition to honey, Valory R. recommends a saline wash to treat allergies naturally. She relays of her son, "His nose has been stuffed up for two weeks, a little runny and sneezing moderate, so I gave him a saline wash," she says. "I heard that is good for stuffed-up runny noses." WebMD also recommends rinsing eyes with saline eyedrops or cool water to remove pollen.
Although WebMD stresses that there is no definitive evidence that essential oils such as peppermint help allergies, many moms swear by them. Lattaran B., for example, uses a mix of peppermint, lavender, lemon, and coconut oils, which she rubs on her toddler's feet twice a day and a small dab under his nose. She says her holistic oil treatment "works way better than all of the over-the-counter meds with no side effects, and it call be used on all ages, even newborns."
When Shenna R. couldn't find a satisfactory relief for her 2-year-old son's allergies, she decided to take the matter in her own hands and set out to allergy-proof her house. "Air filters and humidifiers can help," she insists, and Robin H. agrees. "An air conditioner is good for when your son has to be inside," she says. "It filters out some of the allergens and keeps the room cooler."
If you do head to the drugstore for treatment, then Circle of Moms members like Melissa G. and Karen P. offer the encouragement that some kids with mild allergy symptoms respond very well to over-the-counter, long-acting, and nonsedating antihistamines. They also warn, however, that children can react differently to different medicines, and moms need to carefully evaluate which medicines works for their children, and which ones don't. Melissa P. took her 4-year-old son off Singular, because while on it, "he became too aggressive and hyper and had diarrhea." Karen P. swears by Allegra and notes that Claritin and Zyrtec make her child "hyper and crazy."
For some moms, their pint-size spring allergy sufferers don't seem to be getting any relief, so they recommend heading to an allergist or pediatrician's office and taking prescribed medicine. Samantha P. says her infant suffers tremendously from environmental allergies. "Her dad and grandma are also crazy allergic to almost everything in the atmosphere," she says. "I had to sleep sitting up with her on my chest so she could breathe through the mucus and she would almost puke coughing and sneezing." Her daughter's pediatrician prescribed generic Zyrtec in liquid form. "It's amazing," she says.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
Many Circle of Moms members who have infants and toddlers suggest taking a cautious approach to treating infants and toddlers for allergies. "If the only symptom is a runny nose, it could be teething, could be allergies, could be a minor cold," she says, noting that for a runny nose that may or may not be allergies, she uses a nasal bulb or saline nasal spray. Samantha O. agrees. "How do you know what your child has is an allergy for sure? You don't . . . talk to your pediatrician."
The preceding information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.