Allergy Season & Kids
It comes around every year and still never fails to sneak up on us.
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Dry coughs
Is there a cold going around the play group?
Grass is freshly cut. Flowers are in full bloom. Pollen’s in the air. This is no common cold, Mama.
It’s allergy season.
Many moms ask me if it’s okay to give their child an antihistamine to ease their symptoms. As a naturopathic pediatric doctor, I give my patients alternative options that remove health risks.
And nature gives us many ways to treat allergies!
Let’s talk about the problems with conventional medicines and natural solutions to give your child relief during allergy season.
A Cold or Seasonal Allergies?
Signs of seasonal allergies are very similar to the common cold.
Allergies can show up as…
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
So how do you know if your child has a cold coming on or if it’s just allergies?
Here’s one way to tell. If your little one is coughing and sneezing, and their energy levels seem perfectly normal, it’s probably allergies. When your child is sick, they’ll usually be more drained and tired.
Conventional Medicines problems
Did you grow up taking an antihistamine medication like Claritin or Zyrtec when May flowers began to bloom? You’re not alone! But new research shows that taking antihistamines over a long period of time can negatively impact your health. Regularly taking an antihistamine has been shown to increase feelings of…
- Day-time fatigue
These are serious possible risks, especially for children.
Some doctors also recommend nasal steroids. The problem with steroids is that they deplete nutrients in the body, which could make your child feel worse in the long run.
The reality is you don’t have to give your little one an antihistamine or a steroid to treat allergies. There are alternative, natural options that can help suppress the nasty, cold-like symptoms that arise.
natural Medicines for Seasonal Allergies
The common thread in natural allergy medicines is anti-inflammatory properties. This is because allergies, both chronic and seasonal, are an inflammatory response. (2) Seasonal allergies cause swelling in the eyes and nose, which leads to the constant sneezing and eye rubs.
Here are some natural medicines that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and help relieve allergy symptoms:
- Butterbur extract has been proven to have similar healing properties to antihistamines, especially to help symptoms like a runny nose. (4) Always be sure you’re taking an extract.
- Herbal supplements, like stinging nettle leaf, may have an anti-allergy effect on our bodies. (3) You can take this as a supplement or drink it through tea.
- Quercetin is a flavonoid found in onions, apples, and tea. Its anti-inflammatory properties help keep many common allergy symptoms under control. (5)
- Bromelain is a natural enzyme that comes from pineapple and has a wide-range of therapeutic benefits. (6) It can help combat the sneezes.
- Omega-3 fatty acids protect the body against inflammation. (7) You can give your child a liquid supplement to make sure they’re getting the right amount to help treat symptoms.
- Vitamin D deficiency has been found to be higher in people with allergies. This includes seasonal allergies, skin allergies like eczema, and food allergies alike. (8) Give your kiddo a liquid supplement to be sure they’re getting enough.
- Probiotics support a healthy gut and have shown to drastically improve allergy symptoms. (9) The majority of our immune system is located in our gut, so it makes sense that a healthy immune system helps fight allergies.
- Ginger has long been known as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. (10) Sneak some into a smoothie to give to your child, or use the spice to cook dinner for the family.
Mother Nature gives us all the powerful tools we need to help our bodies heal. Why not use Her gifts? It’s peace of mind to know that these natural medicines don’t come with dangerous side-effects.
My Favorite Natural Medicines
Here are a few medicines I recommend to my patients:
- D-hist Jr. by Ortho Molecular: D-Hist Jr. is a great-tasting, chewable tablet that includes a targeted blend of flavonoids, antioxidants, proteolytic enzymes and botanicals designed to provide comprehensive support for children with seasonal challenges.
- GUNA – Sinus Nose Spray: For the temporary relief of symptoms due to chronic sinus infection: sinus headaches, post nasal drip, nasal congestion.
- Cleavers (Galium aparine) is an alterative herb which promotes lymphatic drainage
- Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is a mushroom extract that regulates the immune response.
Natural home Remedies
If your child is experiencing a whole lot of discomfort, there’s even more you can do to combat allergies.
Try implementing these natural remedies at home:
- Nasal irrigation: Using a neti pot is an effective way to flush out your sinuses, but it might be difficult to use with young kiddos. Try using a DIY nasal wash instead. Homemade saline solution: 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 cups warm distilled water.
- Sinus massage: Gently rubbing your child’s sinuses will ease congestion and help improve sinus pain. Massage tips: Have your child lie on their back, face up. Stand at the top of their head, so you see them upside-down. Place your thumbs at the bridge of their nose, just below their cheek bone. Gently press and move in an outward motion toward their ears, while they take a deep breath in. Repeat 5-7 times as needed to clear nasal passages.
- Essential oils: An easy way to use this remedy with your child is to apply a roller with a carrier oil to their chest, so they can inhale the volatile oils that open airways. Certain essential oils can open the respiratory system, boost the immune system, and decrease inflammation, making them an effective remedy for allergy relief. Oils to use: Eucalyptus. Rosemary. Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon
- Change out the air filters in your home: A HEPA filter removes harmful allergens that might be lingering around your home. Be sure to change your filters regularly. You won’t have to worry about irritants inside that could be enhancing your family’s symptoms.
All set for Allergy Season!
Seasonal allergies can be tough for your little one. The good news is there are many natural medicines you can take for relief. Enjoying time outdoors might not feel like the best idea right now, but I want to encourage you to still get outside and play with your kiddos. Summer’s right around the corner!
Stock your pantry with natural medicines, experiment with a few remedies at home, and you’re a prepared Mama. Are you struggling to find the right natural medicine to help your child with seasonal allergies? Do you have questions about how to implement remedies at home?
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