Should Allergies Keep Your Child at Home?
Practical advice on how to keep allergies from interfering with your child’s life.
Develop an Asthma & Allergy Action Plan continued...
You also need to speak with the teachers, coaches, and nurses at your
child’s school. The idea is to let them know about your child’s allergies and
the signs he or she might exhibit at the start of an attack.
Teach your child to recognize the symptoms of allergies and to know when to
take medication. For instance, your child may need to learn to take his or her
medicine before exercise or exposure to animals to prevent allergy
Different states have different laws about which medications children are
allowed to carry and use in school. You can find out what the laws are in your
state by contacting the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics. If
your state doesn’t allow children to carry and take their own medication, be
sure you work with the school. That way you can ensure your child will have
access to medications when they are needed.
Children’s Allergies and Sports
Childhood allergy symptoms do not usually keep a child from playing sports.
They can, though, make playing sports less fun. And in some cases, sports can
even be dangerous for children with severe allergies or allergic asthma.
Frank Virant, MD, tells WebMD that pollens, cold air, dry air, and prolonged
activity -- more than 5 minutes without a break -- can all be triggers for
children with allergic asthma and exercise asthma. Virant is an allergist at
Seattle’s Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center. He is also a member of the
American Academy of Pediatrics section on Allergy & Immunology. “But,” says
Virant, “appropriate premedication can allow most children to participate in
whatever they want to do.”
There are also certain sports and activities that may be less likely to
prompt allergy symptoms and asthma problems. For instance, sports played in
cold and dry places (think ice hockey or skiing) are more likely to cause
exercise-induced asthma than sports in warm and humid environments. Sports like
football, volleyball, or golf mix periods of rest with being active. That may
make them better for someone with asthma than a sport like cross country or
basketball. Whether or not swimming is a good sport depends on whether or not
your child has an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the pool.
Childhood Allergies: Field Trips, Sleepovers and Travel
Field trips can be challenging for children with allergies to pollen or
animal dander. Work with your child’s allergist ahead of time. That way, you
and your child will both know what the best preventive medication is and what
to do if allergy symptoms arise.
Sleeping over at a friend’s house where there are pets can also be
challenging for a child allergic to dander. Make sure your child takes
medication ahead of time in order to prevent allergy symptoms. Also, you need
to make sure your child can recognize serious or life-threatening symptoms and
knows when to seek help.
Travel presents a variety of challenges for children with allergies. Dust
mites or mold are often found in carpeting in cars and hotel rooms. Allergy
symptoms can arise anytime, anywhere. So it’s important that you or your child
always have allergy medication at hand. That includes keeping it in a carry-on
bag onboard an airplane.
When you do these things and have a plan in place to treat symptoms promptly
if they occur, your child will be able to have fun and safe times away from