By Alexa Joy Sherman
Ah, spring: The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom and everywhere you go, you can hear the sound of birds chirping…and kids sneezing. If your child comes down with hay fever—aka allergic rhinitis or nasal allergies—at this time of year, he’s not alone. According to a recent Pediatric Allergies in America survey, 76 percent of parents say their children’s symptoms are worst in the spring. In fact, allergic rhinitis is the most common allergic disease in the U.S. and affects up to 40 percent of all children, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
Unfortunately, most little ones suffer through the sniffles without treatment. “Parents may think that their toddlers are having infectious rhinitis [a cold],’” notes Alexander Greiner, M.D., a practicing allergist at the Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center, and an assistant clinical professor at the UCSD School of Medicine in San Diego, Calif. And how many parents even think allergies warrant a visit to the doctor? How many of us are wary of giving allergy medication to children because of presumed side effects like drowsiness? Well, it may be time to be more proactive about the problem. Here’s why:
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