Some of New Orleans’ most appealing features are its short, typically mild winters, and its beautiful trees, grasses, and flowers. Sadly, this delightful combination has unpleasant consequences for seasonal allergy sufferers. A 2016 report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranked New Orleans as the 11th worst city for fall allergies and the 17th worst for spring.
Ugh! It’s hard enough for adults, but how can we help our kids? Definitely check with your pediatrician if you think their allergies are severe enough to require medication or even shots, but for your run-of-the-mill, annoying symptoms, WebMD offers the following tips when the pollen count is high…
- Stay Inside. Especially mid-morning, early evening, and when the wind is blowing.
- Use Saltwater. For congestion relief, older children might want to try nasal irrigation with a saline solution.
- Stay Hydrated. All that sneezing and blowing can leave a child parched.
- Warm It Up. Steam from a warm shower or bath seems to offer allergy symptom relief.
- Keep It Cool. To keep pollen out, use the air conditioner in your car and home, and keep windows closed.
- Deal With Dry/Humid Air. We don’t typically need humidifiers to counteract dry air around here, but conversely, they warn that humidity over 40% can encourage the growth of indoor allergens.
- Go Cold. When itchy eyes are driving your kid crazy, try a cold compress, which may help reduce the itch and soreness.
- Keep Your Hands to Yourself. Rubbing itchy eyes will only irritate them — and could make the itchiness even worse.
- Spice It Up. If your kids will eat spicy foods, a dish made with cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, onions, or garlic may help thin mucus and clear nasal passages.
- Use Top Tissues. When kids’ allergies are at their peak, tender noses can get sore pretty fast. Look for tissues with lotion or aloe.
- Rub Jelly on It. And if your child’s nose is raw and red from blowing, you can soothe his sniffer with a dab of petroleum jelly.
- Gargle to Relieve Sore Throats. If drainage leaves your child with a sore throat, gargling with warm saltwater made of 1-2 tablespoons of table salt in 8 ounces of water may ease the pain.
- Drink Warm Tea. Drinking more fluids can also help soothe tender throats. Bonus: The steam may relieve sinus congestion, too.
- Get Face Time. Warm compresses applied to the face may also help soothe a child’s sinus pressure and pain.
- Watch Out for Certain Foods. If your child is allergic to ragweed, he/she may also have an allergic sensitivity to some foods that may include bananas, melons, chamomile tea, sunflower seeds, and cucumbers.