Sorry, this entry is only available in Italian.
Spring is the time to play in the open air, but there are many children who suffer from allergic reactions. Here are some suggestions to counteract sneezing and red eyes.
Summer arrives and, with the increase in temperatures, the wind and the dry climate, spring allergiesinevitably occur, with their threat of affecting the outdoor games of our children in a succession of sneezes and red eyes.
According to experts from the Italian Society of Allergology and Paediatric Immunology (SIAIP), one in three children suffers from allergies, with numbers on the rise, which see respiratory allergies in first place for incidence, followed by food allergies.
The most common signs of spring allergies
First of all, when we talk about spring allergies , we are referring to an anomalous response from our immune system, triggered by contact with harmless agents present in the external environment (pollen and domestic dust).
Pollinosis and nasal allergies are widespread in children, caused by the flowering and release of pollen from certain plants such as cypresses, mimosas, olive trees and graminaceae. The concentration of pollen is higher in the months between March and July, although, in recent years, there has been a progressive lengthening of the seasonality.
In predisposed children, the first signs of allergic responses are similar to the common coldsymptoms:
- Closely spaced repeated sneezing and itchy nose;
- Swollen eyes and excessive tearing;
- Itching and redness in the eyes.
According to some surveys, the arrival of spring allergies is associated with a decline in school performance of children and young people, who, in the most critical period, risk sleeping little and badly and therefore having more difficulty in concentrating.
In any case, it is always a good idea to consult your paediatrician, who will recommend an allergist whom you can approach to for a specific skin test. The prick test is a quick and easy way to find out which allergens your child is sensitive to.
But how can we help our children to defend themselves from spring allergies on a daily basis?
A pollen handbook
To deal with the drawbacks of spring allergies, sometimes it is enough to follow a few but effective measures, which can help to counteract the most unpleasant symptoms.
Below is a short handbook with some useful tips:
- For children suffering from pollen allergies it is very useful to consult the pollen calendar. In this way it will be possible to adopt a correct preventive program.
- In the home, keep windows closed in the bedroom during the months of maximum pollen presence in the air and perhaps use specific air conditioners with pollen filters.
- If you take your child out into the open air, avoid meadows and cultivated fields, as well as trips to the countryside where the concentration of pollen increases significantly.
- If you notice the first signs of eye irritation, protect children from the sun’s rays. In this case, sunglasses will be a valuable ally.
- Make sure that your child does not touch his or her eyes with his or her hands, even if he or she feels itchy, so that he or she is protected from small traumas to the cornea.
- As soon as you return home, change the children and wash them so that the pollen does not settle on the pillow and disturb them in their sleep.
Finally, in case of allergic conjunctivitis, you can help your children with a thorough cleaning of the area around the eye through the use of disposable wipes with cleansing, wetting and soothing action, specifically designed to promote the protection of the eyes of children.
Although winter is still being felt these days, spring has officially begun. This means longer, sunnier days, rising temperatures and a great desire to go out and play outdoors. For many children, however, unfortunately, spring is also synonymous with pollen allergies.
According to estimates by the Bambin Gesù Hospital in Rome in Italy there are more than a million and a half children and young people with nasal and pollen allergies. At least a million under 18s suffer from asthma. Pollen allergies generally occur between March and July, depending on the type of plant causing the allergic reaction. The ones that tend to bother sensitive subjects the most are cypresses, mimosas, olive trees, parietal and grasses.
Symptoms of pollen allergies
The symptoms of spring allergies are very similar to those of a common cold: sneezing and continuous secretion to the nose, red and swollen eyes, tearing, sore throat and dry cough, as well as headaches and itching. Pollen in fact contains proteins that trigger a response from the immune system of allergy sufferers at the level of the mucous membranes with which it comes into contact. In the most serious cases, when pollen reaches the bronchi, it can cause asthma attacks. In addition, pollen allergies can cause difficulty sleeping, resulting in fatigue, concentration problems and a consequent reduction in school performance.
What to do to relieve symptoms
The best thing to do is to consult the paediatrician, to check the severity of the alleged allergy and understand how to intervene. Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for pollen allergies. Prevention is therefore very important to prevent the allergy from exploding right at the height of the season. However, there are several solutions that can help alleviate the symptoms.
In less serious cases, against sneezing, runny nose and itching eyes, the natural “microcrystalline” cellulose powder-based spray can greatly contribute to your relief. The aim is to defend the mucous membranes, so that they can better filter out allergens and so that only clean air reaches the lungs. Cellulose forms a natural barrier, which acts directly on the cause of diseases. This type of spray is effective if inhaled before entering an environment where allergens are present, such as crowded places, planes, trains, gardens or dusty rooms.
In any case, it is necessary to prevent the breathed pollen from inflaming the mucous membranes, so it is advisable to continue treatment throughout the season.
Useful tips for feeling better
In most cases, when pollen allergies affect children in mild form, in addition to nasal sprays, small measures are sufficient to help them feel better. During the spring allergy period, try, as far as possible, to:
- Avoid excursions in nature, especially on sunny and windy days;
- Clean the filters of the air conditioners at home and in your car;
- Do not mow the grass in the garden or avoid taking children to where it has just been mowed;
- Avoid contact with animal hair, dust and smoke;
- Allow children to rest more if they feel tired.
If, on the other hand, the allergy manifests itself in a more serious way, it is advisable to consult an experienced allergist to understand how to intervene both in the preventive phase and in the treatment of the symptoms.