Fall has arrived, which means back-to-school schedules, cozy sweatshirts, and … sneezes. If you notice yourself packing your child’s backpack to a chorus of “ahchoos,” know you aren’t alone. Plenty of parents find themselves adding fall allergies to their list of back-to-school concerns. This time of year, adults and children alike show symptoms of allergies to ragweed pollen, mold from fallen leaves, and indoor irritants such as cleaning fragrances, dust, and pets. The onset leads many moms to ask: what are some natural remedies for fall allergies?
Once you’ve noticed your child’s allergy symptoms, speak to your health practitioner. Your family may also find relief in some of the solutions below, such as keeping pollen out of the home and adding probiotics to your child’s diet. These remedies for fall allergies will help your family breeze through the back-to-school season (relatively) tissue free.
Does My Child Have Fall Allergies?
If your child has a runny nose, itchy eyes, and nasal stuffiness (aka cold-like symptoms that don’t subside after a week or two), then he or she may be suffering from seasonal allergies. Fall can be especially sneezy because ragweed is a common allergen and the hardy plant flowers during this season. You’re also likely to visit apple orchards or pumpkin patches during the back-to-school season, and although this can be annual autumn fun, know that mold can thrive on farms and in hay bales.
Keep Your Home Irritant Free
Keeping a shoe-free home is a good strategy during allergy season. If your kids have been outside playing in the leaves, have them leave their shoes at the door to reduce the amount of pollen and allergens in your home. Also, when scheduling autumn hikes and apple picking excursions, look into the pollen forecast to pick an appropriate time. In the fall, pollen counts tend to rise as the clock approaches noon. When inside your home, keep windows closed and seek out HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) products for HVAC filters, air purifiers, and vacuum cleaners.
Add Honey and Probiotics to Your Diet
While it hasn’t been scientifically proven, some find consuming local honey—honey created by bees that consume regional pollen—can help to reduce allergies to these pollens, especially if you start consuming the raw, unprocessed local honey a month or so prior to allergy season.
Are you looking for a dietary change backed by research? Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered links between gut health and a reduction of allergy symptoms. The research cites a probiotic combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which can be taken as a supplement or found in foods. So make a fall meal of it! Jazz up a dish of unsweetened kefir or yogurt with roasted pumpkin seeds. Drizzle local honey on roasted apples and squashes from the farmers’ market, or add a spoonful to your favorite cup of tea. Talk to your primary caregiver about an optimal diet and, of course, don’t allow children younger than one to consume honey.
Clear Noses with Saline Spray and Showers
Saline sprays are non-medicated nasal sprays that can help to flush fall allergens (like ragweed pollen) out of little noses. These sprays can be a good alternative for kids who are too little to take any allergy medications. Similarly, an old-fashioned warm shower can do wonders since pollen on your child’s skin and hair will continue to cause a reaction until washed away (and feels great on a chilly autumn day). Showers are also beneficial because in addition to bringing immediate relief, they also stop your child from transferring the pollen to other items in the home, such as furniture, bedding, and their favorite fall pajamas.
Allergy Triggers at School
Children might also be allergic to something within their school classroom. If you notice your kid showing allergy symptoms such as wheezing, a rash, or runny nose once school has started, look into what could be triggering these symptoms. Is there a classroom pet? Dust from chalk or pollen present in the air? Are there fragrant cleaners used in the building that are producing a reaction? Make an appointment with your child’s teacher and/or school administrator to pinpoint the triggers and then work together on a plan for avoiding them. Possible solutions include keeping windows closed when pollen counts are high or having your child spend his or her day in a classroom without a furry class pet.
There are lots of ways to keep fall allergies at bay, but remember to talk to your family doctor and caregivers before changing your routine. It’s important to keep an eye on kid allergies, as little ones may not to be able to explain the scope of their symptoms quite yet.
Do you use any of these remedies for fall allergies? What works for your little ones? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter!
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