Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Should Allergies Keep Your Child at Home?

Practical advice on how to keep allergies from interfering with your child’s life.
By Hilary Parker
WebMD Feature

Do your child’s allergies keep him out of school or get in the way of some family outing? Each day, 10,000 children in the United States miss school because of their allergy symptoms.

Seasonal allergies -- allergic rhinitis or hay fever -- affects roughly four out of every 10 kids living in America. The symptoms, including sneezing, a stuffy nose, and itchy, watery eyes, can have a serious impact on your child’s ability to take part in school, sports, and outings with family and friends.

Allergies are chronic. But your child doesn’t have to miss out because of them.

Mary Beth Fasano agrees. Fasano is a clinical associate professor and director of the Allergy-Immunology Training Program at the University of Iowa. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Allergy & Immunology. She tells WebMD that children with severe allergies will benefit from correct diagnosis and a good treatment plan outlined by an allergy specialist. A child will also benefit, Fasano says, from collaboration between the child, parents, teachers, and the allergy specialist. “With this approach,” she says, “children should be able to participate in school, sports, and other activities without significant limitations.”

What Causes Allergies?

An allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to a substance that is normally not harmful. For instance, it might see pollen or cat dander as a threat. When that happens, the body produces antibodies. These tell allergy-fighting cells to release chemicals, including histamine, to fight the offending substance. These chemicals then cause people to experience classic allergy symptoms, like a runny nose or a scratchy throat.

Children’s Allergies and Asthma

Many children with allergies also experience exercise-induced asthma and allergic asthma. In fact, more than 2.5 million Americans under age 18 are affected by allergic asthma. Allergic asthma occurs when breathing passages become inflamed as a result of contact with various triggers. For instance, pollen or mold might trigger an asthma episode.

If your child has allergic asthma, the symptoms can go far beyond a runny nose and watery eyes. They can include such symptoms as wheezing and shortness of breath as well as anxiety. Untreated asthma can be a very dangerous condition. It’s important to check with an allergist if your child has not been diagnosed with asthma but is having symptoms that suggest asthma.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
Balding man in mirror
Treatments & solutions.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
Remember your finger
Are you getting more forgetful?
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
Myths and facts.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.