CDC reports that about 10 million children were diagnosed with seasonal and food allergies last year. But the statistics only scratches the surface. Many cases of allergies in children are unreported as parents often refuse to take their little ones to pediatricians.
Always take your kid to the pediatrician if you think they may have hay fever. Doctors are the only ones who can properly interpret children’s allergy and assess their severity. They will also advise on what medication (or a mix of medications) can stop your kid’s sniffles without harming their health.
The best allergy medicine for kids with mild to moderate symptoms
When an allergen gets into your little one’s system, it starts bulging with histamine. This chemical is the culprit of all those sniffles and eye problems like itchiness.
Most kids’ allergy symptoms can be controlled with medications called antihistamines. They help counterbalance the increased histamine level in your child’s body and thus stop it from overreacting to an allergen.
Antihistamines are usually available over the counter and can be used for children’s:
- extreme immune reactions to stings
- allergic rhinitis
- skin welts
- food allergies
Sometimes, prescription antihistamines are given to kids with allergies. They are more potent than their OTC counterparts, which is why they can help with more severe symptoms. But these medications are not for all children. Your pediatrician should determine whether it is safe to give them to your little one.
Other meds for children’s allergies
Antihistamines can either be used alone or in combination with other medications. To increase their effectiveness, your pediatrician may suggest:
- Decongestants. These should never be taken as a long-term remedy to clear up your kid’s nasal blockage due to an allergy. In some cases, however, they are better than antihistamines to fight stuffiness.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays. If your child has sleep-related problems because of an allergy, these sprays can help. They are medicated to curb nasal swelling and inflammation, making it easier to breathe well.
- Shots. Injections are another option of allergy treatment for children who are prone to hay fever. You may consider them for your little one if they experience flare-ups or severe symptoms. Allergy injections can bolster your kid’s immunity to allergens.
The best allergy medication for kids is the one that is chosen with your child’s condition, age, and intolerances in mind. All pills and sprays have their share of side effects, so let your pediatrician help you decide.