Early summer can be one of the worst times of year if your child suffers with hay fever, as several species of tree are pollinating. Airborne allergens expert and long term hay fever sufferer Max Wiseberg has some simple strategies you can use to help your child.
‘Hay fever is a result of our immune system’s overreaction to innocuous particles such as pollen,’ explains Max. ‘The body’s reaction to pollen is to produce histamines. Normal amounts of histamines are good – they keep us alert, attentive and awake. But too many produce symptoms including sneezing, a runny nose, itchy and watery or streaming eyes, nasal congestion and a general stuffed-up feeling in the nose and throat.’
‘Some children also experience itching around the face and mouth,’ adds Max. ‘This can include an itchy mouth and a burning sensation in the throat. Headaches and wheezing can also occur. Avoiding the allergen is key to fighting allergies. Try these measures.’
Keep the pollen off and out of your child’s body – less allergen, less reaction. Encourage children to wear wraparound sunglasses when outside to prevent pollen particles coming in contact with their eyes. Tie their hair up and suggest they wear a cap to prevent pollen particles being caught in the hair. HayMax Kids* is an organic drug-free balm that can be applied to the nostrils and around the eyes to trap dust and pet allergens and more than a third of pollen before it enters the body.
Try to avoid going out when pollen counts are highest during the peak morning and evening periods.
Plan your route to avoid as many trees as possible.
Ask children to change their clothes when they return home and wash their face or suggest they take a bath or shower to wash away allergens. A cool compress will soothe sore eyes. Suggest they wash at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles from their hair and body.
Dry your child’s clothes indoors rather than on an outdoor clothesline to stop pollen being blown onto it by the outside wind.
A healthy diet can also help your child with hay fever. Eating healthily helps to keep our respiratory system strong. Some foods, such as ginger or fresh basil, ease blocked nasal passages, helping us to breathe more easily. Others, such as spinach and almonds, contain nutrients that can help boost our immune systems and help our bodies fight sinus and respiratory infections which are linked to allergies and hay fever.