If the author of this article had been able to use a pollen blocker such as HayMaxTM when she was a child, life might have been very different. Sadly, no such thing existed then, so she was stuck with taking one anti-histamine after another, trying to find one that alleviated her hay fever symptoms – itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and general exhaustion – without making her drowsy.
Much has changed since then, some of it – including the range and effectiveness of treatments available – very much for the better. But not all: both the proportion of people in the general population suffering from allergies, and the proportion of sufferers who are children, have increased:
Allergy UK says the latest evidence suggests up to 30-35% of people worldwide suffer from allergies at some point in their lives. In the UK, it is estimated that up to 50% of children are diagnosed with an allergic condition.
Of course, whatever the allergy, be it hay fever, allergic rhinitis or asthma, dust, mould or pet allergy, the misery it brings – for the child who suffers, and the parent who suffers with the child – has not changed.
So what can parents do to help their children manage hay fever symptoms? Quite a lot, fortunately. Here are some ideas.
- Make HayMax part of the daytime and bedtime routine. Apply immediately after washing/showering first thing in the morning and before going to bed. Pop a pot in your daytime bag and leave a pot by their bed so they can re-apply as needed. In independent studies* HayMax has been shown to trap over a third of the pollen before it gets into the body: less pollen, less reaction. Check out the new ‘HayMax Kids’ product page here (superheroes included!)
- Take your child to the GP, to get a proper diagnosis.
- If the symptoms occur only in high summer on hot, sunny days, it’s almost certainly hay fever. But it could be any of a number of other allergies and treatment might differ in each case – although there is evidence to show that organic pollen blocker HayMax applied to the base of their nostrils (where the air comes in) should work for all airborne allergens.
- Change children’s clothes daily and after they’ve been playing outside
- Wash children’s face and hair after periods spent outdoors. Pollen sticks to clothing, skin and hair so symptoms can continue even when indoors. Washing or showering will remove any pollen remaining on skin and hair
- Encourage them to wear wraparound sunglasses.
This creates a protective layer between their eyes and the pollen-laden atmosphere, and can reduce symptoms considerably. It also relaxes their eyes, which relaxes them.
- Wash children’s bedding frequently.
Pollen grains come indoors borne on the air and stick to bedding, so frequent washing, covering the bed with a sheet which is carefully folded & stored away from the bed during the night, before they get into bed, and turning pillows just before they get in, can all help reduce symptoms
- Limit their exposure to pollen during peak periods.
Pollen is released early in the morning and travels upwards as the air warms up. In the evening, as the air cools, it moves back down again. Symptoms are usually worst during the early morning and evening, when the pollen grains reach nose height, so try to keep children indoors at these times
As with many other things, prevention is better than cure!
Here’s a video of Max, creator of HayMax, with some useful information for managing symptoms in children with airborne allergies.
..and here’s a short scribble video about kids and snot!
Visit the NHS website for lots of useful information on how to recognise hay fever in children, how to distinguish it from other allergies, and how to help your child or children cope with the symptoms.
*Independent studies at the National Pollen & Aerobiology Research Unit at the University of Worcester.