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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
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Hay Fever - Brief Version

What is hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergy to something your child breathes in. Plant pollens most often cause it. Most likely, your child has hay fever if:

  • There is a clear discharge from your child's nose,
  • AND your child's nose itches,
  • AND your child sneezes and sniffs.
  • Your child's eyes may also itch and water.

Here are the months of the year you may expect problems with hay fever:

  • In April and May, the most common pollen is from trees.
  • From May to July, most of the time it is from grass.
  • From late August through the fall, ragweed pollen is the big problem.

Animal fur and other things could cause your child's hay fever.

How can I take care of my child?

Give your child an antihistamine.

  • This medicine works best for hay fever.
  • Your child's doctor will tell you what you should use.
  • If your child has hay fever every day, it's a good idea to take the antihistamine throughout the pollen season.

Shower your child and wash his hair every night before bed.

  • This will clean away the pollens. Your child should have fewer symptoms at night.

Help your child stay away from pollen and other things that may cause hay fever.

  • Make sure your child stays away when someone cuts grass.
  • Your child should stay indoors when it is windy or if there are a lot of pollens in the air.
  • Make sure your child stays away from anything that makes your child have hay fever. Watch out for feather pillows, pets, farms, stables, or tobacco smoke.

Wash your child's itchy or watery eyes.

  • Wash your child's face and eyelids with water. That will clean away any pollen.
  • Put a cold wet cloth on your child's eyelids for 10 minutes.

Call your child's doctor during office hours if:

  • The hay fever does not get better after your child takes medicine for 2 days.
  • Your child gets sinus pain or pressure.
  • You have other questions or concerns.

Written by B.D. Schmitt, M.D., author of "Your Child's Health," Bantam Books.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems