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05th Mar 2024

6 ways to help your children with hay fever symptoms

Aisling Keenan

hay fever

We are officially in hay fever season

In Ireland, the hay fever season kicks off in March – although, hay fever sufferers are likely all too aware of this.

According to Allergy Ireland, it begins with the release of tree pollen in early March until May and is followed by the grass pollen season which occurs from May until September.

If you’ve noticed your little one sniffling, sneezing, and rubbing their itchy eyes, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, affects kids, and here’s your guide to help them find relief.

What exactly is hay fever?

It’s an allergic reaction to pollen, typically from grasses, trees, and weeds.

Ireland’s gorgeous but grass-filled landscape makes it ripe for the aul pollen production, and approximately one in 10 people in Ireland experience the discomfort of hay fever, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland.

Symptoms of hay fever symptoms are very similar in adults as in children: Watch out for constant sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes.

If your child seems to show these signs more during spring and summer, it might just be hay fever.

Tips for helping them find relief:

  1. Limit outdoor time: Pollen counts are usually higher in the morning and evening, so try to keep outdoor activities to a minimum during those times.
  2. Clean up: Regularly dust and vacuum your home to reduce indoor allergens. Pollen can attach itself to clothes, so maybe get your child to change clothes and wash their face and hands after outdoor play.
  3. Use saline spray: Saline nasal sprays or rinses can help remove pollen from the nasal passages and provide relief.
  4. Allergy-proof their room: Invest in allergen-proof pillowcases and mattress covers. Keep windows closed during high pollen days and consider using an air purifier.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help thin mucus and soothe irritated throats.
  6. Consult a doctor: If symptoms persist or significantly impact your child’s quality of life, it’s time to consult your GP. If you have the GP card for under 6s, it will be free. They might recommend antihistamines or other medications.