Any seasonal change includes weather pattern shifts and different foliage which introduces different allergens (unseen) into the atmosphere. Every season change initiates a time to think about seasonal allergies, to prepare for allergies and to monitor children for symptoms.
If your child has a known history of seasonal allergies or has tested positive for environmental allergies, it is important to start allergy medications at the start or right before the change in season. These medications include over-the-counter long antihistamines like Claritin and Zyrtec, prescriptions steroidal nasal sprays like Flonase and Nasocort, and oral immune modulators like Monteleukast (aka Singulair). Often, getting a jump on allergies before the flare up maximizes the comfort of children and helps to prevent suffering from the more severe effects of allergies such as chronic congestion, sinus infections and asthma attacks.
Parents of children with asthma must recognize the importance of keeping allergy symptoms under control because severe allergy symptoms can cause asthma flare ups which can progress and become life threatening. Allergy medications must be started and taken daily as well as maintenance medications if a child has been prescribed one. Remember, waiting to respond to asthma symptoms is dangerous as asthma attacks can escalate very quickly and good prevention is the key for avoiding serious consequences for children with asthma.
Any parent who suspects their child is developing seasonal allergies should observe their child to determine if he/she is comfortable and acting healthy. If symptoms progress and the child is uncomfortable, call the pediatrician to discuss managing mild symptoms or make an appointment to have the child evaluated and to initiate maintenance medications if needed.