Seasonal allergies can occur at any time, but summer is a common season, as the temperatures are higher, and there are various allergens in the air. As a parent, you are more than likely focused on child and baby wellness.
If your child is suffering from symptoms during the summer, you may be wondering if they are caused by allergies or the common cold, as many of the symptoms are similar. To determine what the cause is, so you can treat the symptoms appropriately, it helps to be able to recognize the symptoms and causes of common summer allergies.
Causes & Symptoms of Summer Allergies
Summer allergies can last for weeks and even months, as the various allergens appear at different times during the season. Pollen is the most common cause of summer allergies, as this is the season when grasses, weeds, and flowers are pollinated. Ragweed is the most common cause of summer allergies, and it is around more in the late summer and into fall.
Other weed allergy triggers include tumbleweed, pigweed, Russian thistle, and sagebrush. For grasses, common allergens include Johnson grass, bluegrass, orchard, Bermuda, red top, timothy, and sweet vernal. Air pollution and smog also make allergy symptoms worse.
Common symptoms of summer allergies include:
- Red, watery, and itchy eyes
- Itchy throat and nose
- Runny nose
- Thick mucus
- Nasal congestion
Some allergy sufferers also experience dark under-eye circles, rashes, and wheezing. Not everyone is susceptible to seasonal allergies, but if your child is, you are probably looking for cold hacks and other remedies.
Summer Allergy Treatments for Your Child
The best way to manage allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens as much as possible. This may be next-to-impossible without locking your child in the house with the windows and doors closed. However, you can reduce the exposure by remaining indoors around dawn and dusk and staying indoors when it is dry and windy. If your child does spend time outside, have him or her shower or bathe right after and change clothes.
One way to treat symptoms is to make sure the immune system is strong. The best way is to eat high-nutrient foods, and some examples include:
- Organic vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains
- Organic and grass-fed meat
- Fermented foods
It can sometimes be difficult to get your child to eat healthy and get a wide variety of foods, so supplementing is ok. Look for age-appropriate vitamins, such as baby vitamins for 1 year old.
Using a saline rinse or spray helps flushes out the allergens and loosens mucus. Steam also loosens mucus and eases congestion. Eating local honey helps relieve allergy symptoms, although this is a long-term solution, so it is most effective if your child consumes it throughout the year.
Eucalyptus oil has been shown to open sinuses and nasal passages. You can add it to a hot bowl of water for steam inhalation, add it to a diffuser, or mix it with a carrier oil and rub it on your child’s chest. This oil also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.