Seasonal allergies can develop in children, usually impacting those over two years old, during early spring to summer and late fall.

This kind of allergies is termed "seasonal" because the triggers occur at the same time each year, depending on the allergen your child reacts to. They are caused by pollen floating around in the air when plant fertilization is at its peak.

If you notice your child experiencing the following symptoms, you may be dealing with a case of seasonal allergies:

  • Lots of sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes, and throat
  • Stuffy and runny nose
  • And, occasionally, a persistent cough

That Time of Year 

Cross-pollination peaks in spring and summer, when plants and trees release particles into the air. These environmental allergens include pollen from flowers, trees, grass, and weeds.

Children can quickly develop allergies when exposed to such allergens while playing outdoors. But why does this happen?

The immune system thinks of these pollen particles as dangerous invaders, releasing a hormone – histamine – into the blood system to protect the body from a perceived threat. This overreaction causes the symptoms to appear.

Allergies are generally not a serious health condition when managed effectively. However, they can exacerbate asthma, increase ear or sinus infection risks, and cause fatigue and extreme discomfort in your child, possibly leading to behavioral issues. 

Allergy Management & Treatment

The primary fix to seasonal allergies is to avoid the triggers. As long as your child is exposed to the allergen, their body will keep reacting to it, and the symptoms will remain. This means you must adjust your child's routine during the allergen's peak season. Sometimes, doctors prescribe antihistamines to ease the symptoms, but a combination of preventive and curative management is best.

Here are some ways to address this problem and alleviate your child's discomfort:

Avoid pollen. Check the pollen level forecast in your area and limit your child's exposure outdoors. Create indoor activities for them, like board games, arts and crafts, movie marathons, interactive games, baking, or indoor exercises to keep them entertained and within your walls.

Remember, air conditioning is your ally. Close windows and use air conditioning to keep allergens out of your home. An air conditioning system removes heat and moisture from the air to create a more comfortable and healthy indoor environment. Keep your AC in re-circulating mode.

Don't forget your air filter. Use HEPA (High-efficiency particulate filter). According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, this type of air filter is designed to capture and remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm). Make sure to clean and replace filters based on manufacturer recommendations.

Wash up often. When your kids enter your home from outside, tell them to wash their hands so they won't rub their eyes and nose with hands coated with allergens.

Shower before bedtime. Ensure your kids shower and change clothes before sleeping on their beds to prevent nighttime allergen transfers.

Use a dryer to minimize the trigger. Do not hang your clothes to dry outside. Use your machine drier instead, or hang your clothes inside of your home using hangers or a drying rack.

Follow your treatment plan. If your pediatrician prescribes anti-allergy medication, ensure your child follows the right dosage. Most antihistamines cause sleepiness, while a small percentage may have the opposite, hyperactivity effect, so consider timing and activities when administering these meds.

Observe the symptoms. Inform your doctor of any new symptom your child is experiencing so they can make further tests to ascertain if other factors are possibly in play, like asthma triggers or viral infection. 

Be Alert About Allergies 

It's best to anticipate the season when environmental triggers are at their highest and prepare your kid, home, management plan, and yourself for when allergies hit. Also, remember to be patient because the discomfort may cause your child lethargy, irritability, fatigue, or lack of sleep.

The key is to keep allergens as far away from your child as possible because the body only reacts when the "threat" is present. Give them quick relief or preventive medicines as their doctor prescribes before the allergies lead to further health issues.

Although you can't see allergens, you can keep them at bay. Seek professional medical help and invest in a good air conditioning and air filter system to manage triggers. These and a little TLC will help your little one cope with this seasonal challenge just fine. 

Learn More About Seasonal Allergies in Children 

Carolina Pediatrics of Wilmington is a local pediatric care provider in Wilmington, NC, and Hampstead, NC. If you suspect your child has seasonal allergies, you can schedule an appointment with a licensed pediatrician for proper medical assessment and treatment.

Give your child access to an effective allergy management program from the Carolina Pediatrics team and get attentive medical service from diagnosis to follow-ups. You can reach out to us via the patient portal for further inquiries. 









Starting Saturday July 15, 2023 we will be allowing walk-in visits between 8-10 a.m. for patients with acute illnesses with recent onset. We will only be offering walk-in visits on Saturday mornings in the Wilmington office.

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