How Can I Best Manage My Child's Allergies?

The Moms Council debates one of the major hazards of Springtime.

This week's question about childhood allergies is from Kate van Sleet.

Question: It's allergy time! What is your advice for caring for little ones who suffer from pollen overload?

Answer, from Alison: Luckily, my kids don't have any pollen allergies, so we haven't had to deal with that.  However, my older daughter is allergic to amoxicillin, and my younger is allergic to most sunscreens - both pretty severely, with hives that quickly take over their little bodies - and I often wonder whether other things will trigger allergic reactions.  I carry Benedryl in my bag, and hope for the best!   Sending good thoughts to all the pollen sufferers out there - hope the season passes quickly.  

Answer, from Jessica: It's a beautiful time of year but with all those blooming flowers comes lots of pollen and that can be so tough for those that suffer from allergies!  For the little ones I find that it is almost impossible to limit their exposure to pollen especially because they have been cooped up during the winter and spending time outside is a must.  However, there are things that I do at home that do seem to help.  For example, we close the windows and leave our air conditioner on. Using an air purifier also does seem to help.  I try to damp dust-prone surfaces regularly and keep pets out of bedrooms (as the pollen sticks to their fur).  For little ones that cannot help but roll around in the grass it does help to change and wash their clothes once they return home.  Most of the local weather channels also have websites that monitor the pollen count.  Consulting a doctor about age-appropriate allergy medicine might also be of interest to those that have severe allergies. 

Answer, from Alisa: Definitely happy to see flowers bloom and tress go green again but it has also brought with it a dry hacking cough for my son which seems to be much worse at night. Thankfully he mostly sleeps through it, but my husband and I definitely don’t.  What has helped a little is to run an air purifier during the day followed by a cool mist humidifier at night. Additionally, we have a nebulizer from a previous run in with bronchitis so we use that with a bit of saline in it to clear out my son’s airways after he goes to sleep. Pediatrician recommended we do that or use the saline nasal spray + bulb, but we all know how much fun that is.


Alisa Stendardo is a full-time working mom living in Somerville and is the founder of the workingmomsomerville Yahoo Group, which meets on the first Thursday of every month at Diesel at 8 p.m. Her son just turned one.

Alison Mitchell is mom to Katherine, 4 1/2 and Sophie, 2 1/2, and moderator of the SomervilleMoms Yahoo Groups. 

Kate van Sleet: I’m a paralegal for public television, but my primary job title is "Mom" to my 17-month-old daughter.  I chose to join the council because though I have lived in Somerville for nearly ten years, I am new to the world of parenting and would love to connect with other parents in the neighborhood.  My family loves Somerville and is always looking for ways to participate in the community.  I also serve on the Board of Trustees of the Somerville Public Library. 

Lucas Friedlaender: I’m  a father of three (a 5-year-old, a 4-year-old and a 15-month old) and I co-own Twinkle Star Baby Boutique in Porter Square with my wife Kerri Friedlaender, so I’m around kids and the children’s world all day everyday. My wife and I are pretty involved in parenting circles in Somerville.

Jessica Stowe has an extensive background in childcare and is the founder of Personally Paired (www.personallypaired.com) which connects Boston area parents with sitters and nannies.

Kate Estrop May 11, 2011 at 08:49 PM
I don't have kids - but was certainly thankful for your suggestions as I myself am having an awful time of it this year even though I've never had allergies in the past! Thanks, Mom's Council!


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