Should Allergies Keep Your Child at Home?
Practical advice on how to keep allergies from interfering with your child’s life.
Allergy Medicines and Treatments for Children’s Allergies
The best allergy treatment for your child depends on what kind of allergy
symptoms your child has, and how severe they are. Options include a variety of
over-the-counter and prescription medications. These include antihistamines,
decongestants, and steroids. If your child has asthma, he or she may be treated
with inhalers. These medicines provide relief by calming inflammation and
opening air passages. All medications have possible side effects, so it’s
important to work with your child’s doctor to find the right allergy
If the usual medications don’t provide enough relief for your child’s
allergies, allergy shots -- immunotherapy -- may be considered. Allergy
shots work by exposing someone to increasing amounts of an allergen, such as
pollen or mold, over time. This makes the immune system less likely to react to
Allergens at School
Children can develop allergies to many different things. And there are some
allergens that are often found in classrooms. These include:
- Chalk dust. This allergen can cause asthma attacks in children with
allergies and asthma. If your child is allergic to chalk dust, he or she should
sit a good distance away from the board. Also tell your child to be sure to
wash his or her hands right away after writing with chalk.
- Dust mites. Tiny as they are, dust mites are public enemy number one when
it comes to chronic symptoms of allergies and asthma. They thrive in humid
environments. For that reason, air conditioning can help keep them at bay.
- Mold. The spores produced by molds that grow in damp, dark places can be
dangerous for children with allergies and asthma. Make sure the school
practices proper clean-up procedures if mold occurs. The school should also
promptly fix any leaks that occur.
- Pet dander. Dander is the dead skin cells that are sloughed off by animals.
It can cause some children to have uncomfortable symptoms, including itchy eyes
and stuffy nose. A child with allergies may also develop skin rashes after
touching certain animals. Caged classroom pets are not usually a problem for
children who are allergic to dander they breathe in. But if your child is
allergic to dander, be sure your child’s teacher knows it is not okay for your
child to hold or help care for the classroom pet.
- Pollen. Your child may be allergic to pollens produced by various plants.
Open windows in the classroom may aggravate these allergies. Ask that windows
be kept closed and air-conditioning used. Pollen allergies can also put a
serious damper on recess and sports practice. Making sure your child takes the
appropriate medicine ahead of time will help prevent watery eyes, stuffy nose,
and other symptoms.