Hay Fever Treatments for Children

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Hay fever in children can lead to asthma, in severe cases.

Hay fever attacks children and adults especially during the spring and late summer, when pollens from trees, grasses and weeds bloom. Some children struggle throughout the year from allergies to dust mites, mold or pet dander. However, both prescription and nonprescription treatments can ease symptoms of hay fever in children.

  1. Control Common Allergens

    • KeepKidsHealthy.com makes several recommendations for minimizing allergens around your child, such as purchasing allergy-proof plastic covers for your child's mattress, pillow and box spring; and vacuuming the house often while your child's away, since vacuuming kicks up dust for a short time. Also, keep indoor humidity low because dust mites and mold increase in higher humidity. Close windows in both your car and house during seasonal allergy conditions; and use high-quality allergy filters with your furnace.


    • Antihistamines come in both pill and liquid form for smaller children. These treatments relieve itching, sneezing and runny nose by blocking histamine, which the immune system releases during an allergic reaction, causing sneezing, itching and congestion. Some over-the-counter antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, can cause drowsiness, especially in children. Other brands, like loratadine, do not cause drowsiness and can also be purchased over the counter.


    • Decongestants help relieve congestion in the sinuses and nasal passages. They can come in liquid, pill or nasal spray form. Mayo Clinic advises avoiding using decongestants for prolonged use in children due to possible side effects, including insomnia, headaches and increased blood pressure.

    Prescription Nasal Sprays

    • Prescription nasal sprays treat or prevent nasal inflammation, itching and runny nose from hay fever. Doctors prescribe them because they can be used safely for long-term treatment, according to Mayo Clinic. Avoid using over-the-counter nasal sprays long-term in children because they can worsen symptoms of congestion. Nonprescription cromolyn sodium nasal spray prevents the release of histamine and works best when used before hay fever symptoms start.

    Rinsing Sinuses

    • Regularly irrigating, or rinsing, your child's nasal passages alleviates nasal congestion. The salty water flushes allergens from your child's nose. Use a bulb syringe with smaller children.


    • Put a few ice cubes in a damp wash cloth and place over your child's eyes for five to 10 minutes to relieve itchy and swollen eyes. The ice will relieve the inflammation and numb the itchy symptoms. Doing this before bedtime will help your child sleep easier.

    Allergy Shots

    • In severe cases of hay fever, allergy shots can help. Immunotherapy treatments usually last three to five years and involve a regular period of injections containing small quantities of allergens to build up your child's immunity, indicates Mayo Clinic. The treatments can also prevent asthma in some children.

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