READING: How can I help my children with their hayfever?

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How can I help my children
with their hayfever?

Children, teens and even babies can experience symptoms of hayfever and may need different solutions depending on their age and symptoms.

Two min read

About one in ten Australian children have hayfever1 and children with hay fever commonly also have other sensitivities, like asthma, eczema or food allergy.2

Remember, to read medicine labels carefully before giving medication to a child under the age of 12.

Ask a pharmacist or GP for advice if you need reassurance about treating your child.

Your GP will be able to help you identify your child’s trigger or triggers. If you know the triggers, you may be able to reduce your child’s contact, which might help you reduce their symptoms and their need for medication.3

Childhood hayfever symptoms

If your child has hayfever, they may have one or more of these symptoms:3

  • Sneezing
  • A runny nose or blocked nose
  • Puffy eyes
  • Itchy or watering eyes
  • Irritated ears or itchy throat and mouth
  • Headaches

In some cases, hayfever can also:3

  • Make asthma difficult to control
  • Cause learning difficulties
  • Cause sinus infections
  • Lead to eye infections from eye rubbing

If your child’s hayfever is left untreated, it can also lead to poor sleep and daytime sleepiness.

As hayfever may also make asthma difficult to control, speak to your GP if your child has asthma and hayfever symptoms.

Even though children may downplay their symptoms and be reluctant to seek help, do consult a GP if you suspect hayfever is having a negative impact on your child’s learning or quality of life.

What to tell your child about hayfever

  • Empathetically explain what hayfever is.
  • Ask about your child’s symptoms and when they occur to try to figure out their triggers. For example, they could be pollen, mould, pets or dust mites
  • Reassure them that hayfever is very common, and they are not alone – many of their friends are probably also suffering.1
  • Reassure them that hayfever is not contagious.
  • Reassure them that many children see a GP about their hayfever.

References

  1. 1. AIHW. Allergic rhinitis ('hayfever'). Aust Govt, Inst Health and Welfare. [Internet]. Canberra (ACT); 2019 Aug. [cited 2019 Sept 28]
    Available from: www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/allergic-rhinitis-hay-fever/contents/allergic-rhinitis-by-the-numbers.
  2. 2. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Allergic Rhinitis Clinical Update [Internet]. Brookvale (NSW); 2017 [cited 2019 Aug 5].
    Available from: www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/pospapers/ar/ASCIA_HP_Clinical_Update_Allergic_Rhinitis_2017.pdf.
  3. 3. The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Kids Health Info: Hay Fever. [Internet]. Melbourne (Vic). 2018 July. [cited 2019 Sept 28].
    Available from: https://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo/fact_sheets/Hay_fever/.

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