Tips for parents to treat child allergies

Allergy season can be year-round in Arizona, and there are all types of allergens that can affect both adults and children.

Sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes: If you don’t have these symptoms now, chances are some of your friends and coworkers do.

They are called seasonal allergies, but the reality is you can have these symptoms any time of the year since the growing season in the Valley is year round.

What are your options?

Injections, pills, event nasal sprays. There are a number of methods you can try.

“Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec,” recommended Dr. David Mendelson, an ear, nose and throat doctor. “Sometimes one will work a little better for an individual than the other, but they’re the same class.”

There is a high amount of juniper in the air this week across the Valley. It’s the main allergen affecting sufferers right now.

No single remedy works better than another, doctors say. It varies from patient to patient, so you’ll want to discuss options with your doctor and pay attention to your reactions to each medication or treatment.

Parents with children who have severe allergies can try other things before heading to the pharmacy.

Dr. Mendelson, who works at Tempe Saint Luke’s Hospital and Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, said many allergy medications are safe for children 2 or older. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings before trying on your children,

He also recommends the neti pot, since it clears the the nose and sinuses, but “whether or not a young child will tolerate that, that’s another story,” he said.

Less invasive options include buying hypoallergenic bedding, such as sheets and bedding. Mendelson also recommends buying an air purifier with a HEPA filter. He said you should run it 24 hours a day in the bedroom with the door shut. You or your child could experience noticeable relief after one night’s sleep.

Wash your children’s hands regularly. It’s a common way we introduce allergens into our bodies.

If these tips don’t work, Dr. Mendelson also recommends NasalCrom for children. He says the best way to use it is to take it before your children come in contact with a trigger, such as playing outside in the grass.

Another option, which can potentially provide relief for a few years, is immunotherapy. It generally starts with a patch test, which is done either on your back or your arm, and is used to detect allergic reactions in your body.

A doctor can then gradually introduce your body to higher doses of the allergen to lessen the severity of your body’s reaction to irritants.

Visit ENT Specialists of Arizona, P.C. for more information.