What is a #pediatricpearl? I share #pediatricpearls as a resource in my clinic and also on my Instagram account (@camikesler_nursepractitioner) to provide small, but valuable pieces of information to help educate parents and families and eliminate confusion from other sources.
It’s that time of year where we have longer hours of daylight, blooming flowers, and budding leaves. As a mother to 5, I could use a variety of emoji’s to describe how excited I am for spring! For our family that means more trampoline time, soccer games, and water skiing at a nearby lake.
As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I’m excited to share these 3 PEDIATRIC PEARLS to help you and your little ones not just survive but thrive as the seasons change.
One of the most important things you can learn about allergies is the variation in symptoms that differentiate it from the common cold.
Three signs that it IS allergies and NOT a cold would include:
- Symptoms show up as soon as your child is exposed to an allergen
- Symptoms are triggered whenever seasons change
- Symptoms last indefinitely or as long as your child is exposed to the allergen
As a momma myself, I realize when I take the time to recognize and prioritize my children’s symptoms, the quicker I can put an action plan in place to help them feel better.
A proper clinical diagnosis of seasonal allergies is consistent with the following:
- clear nasal drainage
- nasal congestion
- pale discoloration of the nasal mucosa (not green)
- red / watery eyes
- possibly an itchy nose, or sneezing (1).
It can be overwhelming as a parent to know for sure what certain symptoms mean. You may find the following PEDIATRIC PEARL helpful:
Keep a journal of daily symptoms, recognize that a cough lasting longer than two weeks requires further evaluation, and remembering that worsening or uncontrolled symptoms after starting medications, requires further medical workup.
One thing I love about working in my clinic is appreciating a child’s ability to adapt to difficult circumstances. Children are resilient and it takes a lot for them to skip out on recess, riding their bike, or going on a camping trip. If seasonal allergies routinely slow your child down, it’s important as a parent to be prepared to help counteract those negative, seasonal symptoms!
One of my very favorite PEDIATRIC PEARLS to share when it comes to allergies, is “open the gate, don’t be late!”
How do you know when the “gate is open”?
Consider changes in season, different environments, allergy testing, second-hand smoke, and animals. Once your child’s symptoms are diagnosed as seasonal allergies, you will become very familiar with knowing “when the gate opens” and what can trigger symptoms.
As a parent, you make an impact by helping your child to avoid those triggers and treat the symptoms. There are a variety of over-the-counter allergy medications to consider when your child is faced with allergies so consult with your provider to implement a consistent oral and nasal medication regimen (2).
In our house, we practice year-round cootie control by establishing proper hand washing techniques, sneeze into your arm not your hand, and well-balanced nutrition. These preventive measures make a difference in reducing the spread of bacteria. As a parent, you can do the same when it comes to seasonal allergies.
While the verdict is still out on exactly how an individual is allergic to particular allergens, research shows that most symptoms will appear in children older than 4-6 years (3).
I recommend the following to inhibit or help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms:
- Vitamin C to boost the immune system and the body’s natural antihistamine response
- Saline nasal irrigation
- Daily probiotic
- Cold compress to help soothe, itchy puffy eyes
- warm compresses to help open nasal passages and relieve sinus headaches (My family loves WINK NATURALS soothing comfort clay packs)
I hope you can add these SEASONAL ALLERGY PEDIATRIC PEARLS to your families healthcare practices for enhancing overall health. Come visit me for more Pediatric Pearls on Instagram @camikesler_nursepractitioner
Click on the link below to download this pdf:
(1)Gentile, D., Bartholow, A., Valovirta, E., Scadding, G. (2013). Current and future directions in pediatric allergic rhinitis. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 1(3):214-226.
(2)Sur, D. & Plesa, M. (2015). Treatment of allergic rhinitis. American Family Physician. 92(11):985-992.
(3) Dykewicz, M., Wallace, D., Baroody, F., Bernstein, J., Craig, T., et al (2017). Treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis: An evidence-based focused 2017 guideline update. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 119(6):489-511.
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