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This month at the Kid Clinic: Seasonal allergies

This month at the Kid Clinic: Seasonal allergies

Valerie Amstadt, PA-C
Campbell County Medical Group Kid Clinic

Now that the weather is warmer, seasonal allergies are in full swing. At the Kid Clinic, we are seeing a lot of children with allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies are usually caused by pollen (from trees, grasses, or weeds), mold spores, and other native shrubs such as sagebrush. Some people can breathe these substances in without a problem, while other people’s immune systems see these substances as harmful and produce an allergic reaction.

woman sneezing

Seasonal allergies generally occur during the same time each year and some years can be worse than others. People who have allergy symptoms all year round are likely having reactions to things such as insects, dust mites, cockroaches, animals, or mold spores.

The most common allergy symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • itchy and red eyes
  • sore or itchy throat
  • post nasal drip
  • coughing

It is common for children with seasonal allergies to also have some difficulty breathing or a condition called asthma. If you think your child may have seasonal allergies, you will want to see your primary care doctor to discuss treatment options. Usually, seasonal allergies can be diagnosed based on symptoms and physical exam. If your child’s allergies are really bad, they may consider sending your child for allergy testing to see what allergen is causing your child to feel this way.

The most common first line treatment for allergies in children are over the counter medications such as Children’s Zyrtec (Cetirizine), Children’s Claritin (Loratidine), or Children’s Allegra (Fexofenadine). Your child’s care provider may also suggest starting a steroid nasal spray or a prescription allergy medication depending on the allergy symptoms present, the severity of the symptoms, and your child’s age. You can also use sterile water nose rinses to help remove the allergen from your child’s nose and help to clear mucus out of the sinuses. Sinus rinse bottles can be found over the counter at any pharmacy.

You can try to prevent allergy symptoms by keeping car and house windows closed, using air conditioning, having your child take a bath or shower before bed, and using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. If you know your child has seasonal allergies, it is important to start the over the counter medications before the allergy season starts and continue the medication daily until the first frost of the winter.

The CCMG Kid Clinic is open all summer, Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm. The Kid Clinic is a school-based pediatric clinic for Campbell County students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their siblings over the age of 2. The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and Campbell County School District. For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit www.cchwyo.org/kidclinic.