Posts Tagged ‘ asthma and allergy foundation ’

Tips for Managing Your Child’s Allergies

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Girl blowing her noseEditor’s Note: This guest post was written by Dr. William E. Berger, a Parents advisor and one of the nation’s foremost experts on allergies and asthma. He is also a board-certified physician in two separate specialties (Pediatrics and Allergy and Immunology) and a member of the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters that writes the national treatment guidelines for asthma and allergies.

A sure sign of spring in the many parts of the country are news reports about high pollen counts. And this year’s relatively mild winter nationwide has triggered an unusually early release of tree pollen, suggesting that this could potentially be the worst allergy season in a decade.

As many as 30% of children suffer from seasonal allergies — prompting the seemingly endless sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and stuffy noses. Allergies can also lead to congestion, prompting more kids to develop colds, flu and sinus infections. Antibiotics are often prescribed, but they have shown to be ineffective at combatting such viral infections. Follow these  tips to manage your child’s allergies:

Make an appointment early. If your child seems prone to allergies, see the pediatrician before allergy season to get tested. By knowing what your kid is allergic to will help determine how soon she should start allergy medications and ensure the products have the greatest effect.

Stay hydrated.  Water also helps thin mucus build up, making it easier to expel and relieve congestion.

Use a natural decongestant. Steam can have a profound effect on allergy and cold symptoms, but historically, it has posed some challenges. Humidifier tanks are prone to mold and bacteria growth and Neti pots and nasal rinses can be generally unpleasant. Instead use a handheld steam inhaler like MyPurMist – warm mist soothes irritated tissues in the nose and throat, calming coughs, opening nasal passages, and reducing dryness.

Keep allergens out.  Set your central air conditioning unit on recirculate and keep windows and doors shut to limit the pollen and mold entering your home.

Plan playtime. Kids enjoy playing outside, so let them! But do a little planning – provides reliable zip code-specific pollen forecasts. When pollen or mold counts are high, consider using allergy medication as a preventive measure or limiting outdoor play to late afternoon. Most pollen is dispersed in the early morning and travels best on warm, dry, breezy days. It tends to peaks in urban areas around midday. Pollen counts are lowest during chilly, wet periods.

Consult your pediatrician again. If symptoms persis, the doctor can refer you to an allergist, who can confirm your child’s allergens and to see if it’s necessary to start allergy shots.

Visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for the nation’s top allergy capitals.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2011

mary-joe-fernandezIt’s allergy season again, which means your child may be experiencing watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and exacerbated asthma. According to Bill McLin, President and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), “asthma affects nearly seven million children in America, and it is imperative that we make an effort to further educate children and parents on asthma care and management.”

If your child deals with asthma year-round, is a great site dedicated to providing parents with helpful explainers, resources, and tools to manage its symptoms. Printable tools that increase asthma awareness include a glossary, a symptom and trigger tracker, a healthcare provider checklist, a back-to-school checklist, and more.

Mary Joe Fernandez, an Olympic medalist and tennis champion, is the site’s spokesperson.  “Having battled the symptoms of asthma for many years, and now as the mother of a child with asthma, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of quality asthma care both at home and in school.”  To help improve quality of care and education for school-aged children with asthma, is partnering with the AAFA for a new Everyone Breathe Asthma Education Grants program.  Parents who have children with asthma can apply for a $2,500 savings bond for their child’s continued education and a $5,000 savings bond for their child’s school to improve asthma care and education in the classroom.  Ten winners total will be selected.  The deadline is July 29, 2011.

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