Seasonal allergies can be caused by various factors, such as pollen, snow mold, and even allergens that grow in decomposing leaves during the fall. If your child is experiencing a stuffy nose, breathing out of their mouth, and has bleary eyes, it may be a case of allergies. When your child is experiencing such symptoms it may be tempting to give them one of the allergy medications that have proven successful for you, but that is not always a safe move! Children can experience a negative reaction to adult strength medications, making the youth formulations the best alternative.
Most of the brands that you will recognize from your own use come in a children’s strength, with Claritin, Benadryl, and Zyrtec most commonly recommended by both pediatricians and pharmacists alike.
Children’s Claritin offers the same effective relief as its adult-strength counterpart, but in a dosage that will not cause an adverse effect on little ones. If you need a strong antihistamine that is coupled with an effective decongestant, give Claritin a try. This formulation is not reported to cause drowsiness, but there are incidences of hyperactivity and nervousness associated with its use.
Benadryl, one of the most trusted and often-used brands of children’s remedies, is what is considered a “first-generation” drug. This means that the antihistamine does still cause drowsiness, which some parents do consider a bonus, but it does not cause the nervousness that can be associated with some newer drugs. This medication works best on sinus issues and may not be as effective as the drugs that contain an antihistamine and decongestant combination.
Zyrtec is another second-generation antihistamine that also includes a decongestant. If your child experiences seasonal allergies this medication should clear up most all of their symptoms. This drug has been reported to cause nervousness and agitation in some children, and its use should be discussed with your doctor or pediatrician prior to beginning a course of treatment.
There are many over the counter options with which you can treat your child’s allergy symptoms, but it is important to remember that your doctor or pediatrician should still be consulted prior to starting any new medication for your child. These drugs can have interactions with other medications and illnesses and your doctor can provide the advice necessary to avoid any complications. Seasonal allergy medications are intended for short-term use, and if your child’s allergies persist, you may want to consult with an allergist about treatment more appropriate for long-term use.
In addition to medication, you can help your children by operating a HEPA air filter in your home, keeping them indoors on days when pollen counts are high, and avoiding their exposure to common allergens. Symptoms that worsen or tend to linger may be a sign of a more serious problem, and if your child is not responding to over the counter medications, it is advisable that you seek the advice of your pediatrician who may recommend a consultation with an allergist.