It’s always wonderful when winter ends and spring finally appears…unless you have hay fever.
Hay fever, or seasonal allergies, is very common — and can be really uncomfortable. While it’s not always easy to tell a cold from allergies, it’s more likely to be allergies if there’s no fever, if eyes are itchy, if there’s lots of sneezing…and if it lasts longer than a few days.
The good news is that there are some simple things that you can do to make your child — and anyone else in the house that has hay fever — feel better.
- Close the windows. After a long winter it’s tempting to open them, but don’t — because that lovely fresh air brings pollen in with it. If you have an air conditioner, run it.
- Wash up and change when you get home. Speaking of bringing pollen in, you also do a good job of that when you come inside. The allergy sufferer should definitely change clothes and wash his hands and face when he comes in, but it’s not a bad idea for everyone to do the same, as you all could be pollen-carriers. Try to keep your house as pollen-free as possible. The room where this is particularly important is the bedroom, as that’s where your child spends the most time. If possible, try to keep your child out of his bedroom during the day (move the fun toys somewhere else) and have him bathe before bed.
- Be thoughtful about outside time. As a pediatrician, I absolutely want my patients to be outside; I want them to be active, and to get the sunshine that helps their bodies make vitamin D. But if you have an allergy sufferer, you need to think before you send your child outside. Dry and windy days are the worst, and places with lots of plantings are tough. Many weather sites and apps have local pollen counts; check them as you make your outdoor plans. But since you can’t keep your child in a bubble until allergy season is over, you may need to use medication. When you do…
- Use medication the right way — and talk to your doctor if it’s not working. When it comes to taking a medication to relieve symptoms, like the itchy eyes or sneezing of allergies, we tend to think that we should take it when we have the symptoms, and not take it when we don’t. But it turns out that allergy medications work best when you take them consistently — and can take a while to kick in. So while it’s understandable that you would want to hold off on medications until things get bad, and skip them on good days, your child will actually do better if you get them started at the first sniffle — and continue until allergy season is over (check with your doctor as to when you should stop).The medications we most commonly use for allergies include antihistamines taken by mouth, nasal sprays to help stuffiness and sneezing, and eye drops to help itchy eyes. These days, most of these medications are available without a prescription, so it may not occur to families to call their doctor when allergy season hits; they just head to the pharmacy. If what you buy is working, great. But if not, give your doctor a call — because sometimes changing to a different medication or dose, or using it a bit differently, can make all the difference. Your doctor can also be sure that there isn’t something else besides allergies going on.
If you follow the above suggestions, chances are your allergy-sufferer will feel better — and when kids feel better, parents do too. Enjoy the spring!
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
1 Thessalonians 3:12 and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;
2 Peter 1:7-8 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.
Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,
Romans 8:13-14 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Ephesians 4:22-24 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Colossians 3:5-10 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. read more.
Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
Hebrews 5:11-14 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. read more.
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