Health Information - Seasonal Allergies

 
                                              Seasonal Allergies 
Interesting facts about allergies…
  • Experts estimate that as many as 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies.
  • Children whose parents have allergies are at an increased risk of suffering from them as well.
  • Children who have asthma or eczema are at a greater risk of suffering from allergies than those who don’t.
 
Allergic reaction: A hypersensitive immunological response to an allergen.

Ways to prevent seasonal allergy symptoms:
  • On days with a high pollen count keep your child inside and keep the windows closed.
  • During morning hours, pollen counts are at their highest.
  • To avoid night-time sniffles, have your child bath and change their clothes after coming in from playing outside.

Treatment for seasonal allergy symptoms:
 
Infrequent allergy symptoms:
If your child’s allergy symptoms are mild and fairly infrequent then “whenever necessary”, over-the-counter, allergy medications are normally recommended, such as, Benadryl.
However, ensure not to give your child Benedryl more than 3-5 days in a row unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Also, know that it can cause it can cause drowsiness.
 
Frequent allergy symptoms:
With daily allergy symptoms, discuss the possibility of a daily, over-the-counter or prescription allergy medication with your child’s doctor.
Allergy medications include: Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, and inhalants, such as, Nasonex, Flonase, and Nasacort Aqua.
These medications will actually prevent allergy symptoms from occurring and most do not cause drowsiness.
 
Allergy complications:
If seasonal allergies are left untreated they can put your child at risk for developing other medical concerns, such as, sinus, ear, or respiratory infections.
In addition, the symptoms of allergies can interfere with your child’s ability to focus and concentrate.
 
Asthma
Asthma is a serious and sometimes life-threatening chronic respiratory condition that many of our learners suffer from. With this condition, the airways (the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs) narrow and swell causing reversible obstruction.

Very common (More than 3 million cases per year in US)

Can last several years or be lifelong

What causes asthma:
It isn't clear why some people get asthma and others don't, but it's probably due to a combination of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors. Family history may increase likelihood.

What can trigger an asthma attacks:
 Respiratory Illness
 Allergies
 Dust
 Mold
 Pollen
 Pets
 Smoke
 Strong odors
 Cockroaches
 
Signs of an asthma attack:
 Coughing
 Wheezing
 Use of accessory muscles to breath
 Nasal flaring
 Inability to speak in complete sentences
 Blue tinged lips, nail beds, or skin
 Lethargic

Asthma treatment:
Asthma prevention medications because they prevent asthma attacks. When you use these drugs, your airways are less inflamed and less likely to react to triggers.

Long-term asthma control medications
Taken regularly to control chronic symptoms and prevent asthma attacks, Such as, Inhaled corticosteroids, Long-acting beta agonists and Theophylline

Asthma Rescue medications
Quick-relief medications (rescue medications)
Taken as needed for rapid, short-term relief of symptoms — used to prevent or treat an asthma attack
Anti-inflammatory: ex: Pulmicort, long acting- onset of action 2-8 days, helps to prevent inflammation and asthma attacks

Bronchodilators ex: Albuterol and Xopenex, short acting maximum effect is 5-20 minutes - causes the airways to open up and the muscles to relax.

Most asthma medication is taken via oral inhalation:
inhaler or nebulizer machine

Possible side effects of asthma medications:
• Nervousness
• increased heart rate,
• restlessness,
• insomnia
• overtime – possible high blood pressure
 
See further information on kidshealth.com, pediatricsabout.com and WebMD.com
 
(Asthma in children more in depth, statistics and asthma action plans from the CDC...)