Hay fever – an allergy to plant pollen that is more of a problem during summer months – is quite rare in a child under 5 years of age… but it can happen.
Hay fever symptoms are usually worse in the early morning and early evening, when pollen rises on warm air. It can be mistaken for the common cold, but there is no raised temperature, and hay fever symptoms can last for several weeks.
If your baby has the allergy:
- Check the local pollen count each day (it may be published with the weather forecast during high-pollen periods), and try to keep your child indoors – especially if it is also windy.
- If your child is old enough to wear them, use wrap-around sunglasses to keep pollen from his or her eyes.
- Avoid opening windows in the house – use air-conditioning if you have it.
- When driving, keep car windows closed.
- Use a thin smear of petroleum jelly just inside baby’s nose to trap pollen before it is inhaled.
- When your child comes in after being outside, wash his or her hair, face and hands, and put on fresh clothes.
- Pollen can cling to clothes, so avoid hanging your child’s clothes outside to dry.
- Wash family pets regularly – pollen clings to fur.
To sooth symptoms, use cotton wool and cool water wipe your child’s runny eyes. Consult your doctor about using antihistamine medication, which is usually only appropriate for babies over one year old. If baby’s problems are severe case, your doctor may prescribe a steroid nasal spray.
And be aware that if your child has an allergy, he or she could be more prone to asthma.
This information presented to you acts as a guide which contains researched information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.
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