For a kid, summer is a magical time. School’s out and fun and freedom are in, with plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors — unless, of course, your child has allergies. Then summer plans can be replaced by sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, and a stuffy nose.
As a parent, you want your child to get all they can from their summer vacation. At Nevada Pediatric Specialists, we want that, too. That’s why our team offers patient-centered allergy care for kids of all ages, including treatments for seasonal allergies, allergy-induced asthma, food allergies, and atopic dermatitis. Here are eight steps to take if you think your child has allergies.
1. Rule out other causes
Many allergy symptoms resemble a cold or other respiratory infection. Some symptoms, like hives or itchy or red eyes, are more commonly associated with allergies.
Before you give your child any at-home allergy care, including over-the-counter medicines, schedule a doctor’s visit for an exam and evaluation to make sure it’s really an allergy you’re dealing with.
2. Keep track of symptoms
A great way to minimize or even prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens that trigger your child’s reactions. To do that, you need to keep a careful record of the type of symptoms your child has, along with what they were doing when the symptoms began and in the hours before.
Sharing your notes with our team when you come in for your visit can be a tremendous help in getting your child the treatment they need to feel better faster.
3. Change your filters
For most Nevadans, summer heat requires air conditioning to stay comfortable. The filters used by most air conditioning units are helpful in eliminating dust and other allergens from indoor air — as long as you change them regularly. Look for filters with HEPA protection to filter out the smallest allergen particles.
4. Target dust mites
It sounds gross, but your house is also home to millions of dust mites. Both the mites and their excrement are a source of allergy symptoms to many kids (and adults, too).
To reduce dust mite-related symptoms, vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. Invest in an allergen-proof mattress cover and pillow cover for your child’s bed. Wash bedding and stuffed animals frequently, and consider buying a standalone air filter for your child’s bedroom.
5. Avoid outdoor triggers
Checking the daily pollen count before heading out to play is a good way to determine if your child’s seasonal allergy symptoms will affect plans. The Weather Channel website offers a daily pollen count based on your ZIP code. Also, keep your windows closed on high-pollen days to keep pollen out of your home.
6. Wash up after play
Your child’s play clothes can pick up a lot of allergens. When your child comes in after a day of outdoor fun, have them change their clothes and wash their face and hands. Daily showers or baths remove allergens from skin and hair and prevent them from being transferred to furniture and bedding. If you have house pets that also play outdoors, keep their hair or fur clean, too.
7. Recognize other sources of allergies
Pollen, pet dander, and mold are common sources of allergy symptoms, especially during the summer. But foods, detergents, and even the soap your child uses can also cause allergic reactions. Keeping that symptom diary can help our team determine if your child might be reacting to one of these triggers.
8. Schedule an evaluation
Identifying the source of an allergic reaction isn’t always easy. Scheduling an evaluation with our team ensures your child gets the right treatment based on their allergy triggers and symptoms.
Many allergies can be treated with over-the-counter products, and our team can recommend products that are safe for kids. When your child’s symptoms are more severe or harder to pinpoint, our team may recommend allergy testing to identify the triggers for targeted treatment.
Help your child get the relief they need to keep allergies at bay this summer. Call our office — we’re located in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada — or use our online form to schedule an appointment today.