Is your little one sneezing or coughing? Do they have a blocked or runny nose, or itchy red eyes? If the answer is yes, they may well have hay fever which is an allergic reaction to pollen.
Thankfully, my children haven’t shown any signs of hay fever as yet, but as a Doctor I have seen so many patients struggling with this seasonal beast, so I’ve put together a couple of tips that may help your family if the runny nosed puffy eyed monster appears in your home!
If anyone else in the family are hay fever sufferers, or your little ones have asthma or eczema, they are more likely to be prone to hay fever, so keep a closer eye out for the symptoms.
1. Know your pollen and try and avoid it. Symptoms of hay fever typically appear somewhere between late spring and early autumn, depending which pollen you are sensitive to. Check the pollen counts www.metoffice.gov.uk and if they’re particularly high, it might be wise to stay indoors.
2. If you have to go out, drive with car windows closed and when you get home, it might be helpful to wash your child’s face and change them into clean, pollen-free clothes to avoid prolonged exposure.
3. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) around the nose and to the eyelashes, this might help trap some of the pollen and minimise the irritation it causes.
4. If your little one is still struggling after trying all the above measures, speak to a pharmacist or your GP. Anti-histamines such as Piriton can be used in children older than 12 months to good effect. Nasal sprays and eye drops are also available for children over 6 years old.
5. Finally, use a bit of common sense. We know kids will be kids, and in warm weather we want to encourage them to play outdoors, however if your little one is particularly suffering, don’t let them roll around on your freshly cut lawn.
By Dr Laura.