Spring is a beautiful time of the year when trees bloom and flowers blossom. When all these plants start coming back to life, that means spring allergies are coming back too. Even if your child has never experienced allergy symptoms before, they could develop as they get older. Exposure to allergens can occur for 1-2 seasons before symptoms start to show. This is why allergies are uncommon in toddlers and infants. The majority of people who have seasonal allergies will develop them before they are 20 years old.

What Causes Spring Allergies?

Spring allergies occur during the time of year when trees, flowers, grasses, and weeds have bloomed. But why is this? It’s because the most common spring allergen is pollen. Upon blooming these plants will release pollen into the air to fertilize other plants. When someone who is allergic is exposed, it activates their immune system. The immune system responds to the allergen as an intruder and releases chemicals into the bloodstream for defensive purposes. It’s because of these chemicals being released that causes symptoms.

Common Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Runny rose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Itchy nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Frequent sinus/ear infections
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Itchy watery eyes

Signs Kids are Suffering from Allergies

There are a few signs in kids that point to allergies. If you see your child doing any of the following, keep an eye on them to see if they are dealing with any of the symptoms above as well.

  • Scratching their face, mostly around the eyes.
  • Eating with their mouth open (due to not being able to breathe through the nose).
  • Redness on/ around the nose from frequent wiping.
  • Sounding congested.

Treating Spring Allergies

The best way to determine treatment for Spring allergies is to try and narrow down what is causing them. Do you notice your child exhibits symptoms after playing in tall grasses or in certain fields? Tracking activities and when your child starts showing symptoms is a great way to determine what allergen could be the culprit.

All spring allergy treatments should start with limiting exposure. This can be accomplished by keeping the windows closed, staying inside when the pollen count is high, and encouraging frequent washing. Children with allergies should be encouraged to wash their hands more frequently, especially after having been outside. They should also shower and change clothes after playing outdoors.

If you have limited exposure to allergens and you still see your child experiencing symptoms it’s time to visit the doctor to determine the best medical treatment. Since experiencing allergies often recur for many years, it’s a good idea to get professional advice about long-term treatment. Doctors may prescribe medications like oral, nasal, and ocular (eye) antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. If your child has tried multiple medicines and symptoms continue to persist, your doctor may recommend an allergist to determine if allergy shots could help.

Spring is a great time of year and kids love going back outside to play. However, if children begin to develop allergy symptoms you’ll want to keep an eye on them. Help determine what allergen is causing their symptoms and manage exposure as best as you can. Oftentimes, this will make the difference. But if you’re experiencing a more severe case of allergies, that’s when it’s time to go to the doctor for treatment. 

Sources: Kids Health Partners, Nemours, Verywell Health