The pollen season approaches again. One quarter of Irish schoolchildren get hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). Grass pollen is frequently the culprit. This can be a miserable time for children and particularly teenagers who have to take state examinations in June. If your child regularly suffers from hay fever symptoms then a visit to your GP soon would be a good idea. If their symptoms were severe last year, then starting on a regular non-sedating and long acting antihistamine and a steroid nasal spray before symptoms emerge may be the best recommendation.
There are several non-medical interventions for parents to consider:
Avoiding activity in the early part of the day when pollen counts are high.
- Avoid going out after storms or very windy days
- Wearing nasal filters reduce rhinitis symptoms during the pollen season
- Staying indoors while grass is being cut or when counts are expected to be high
- Children should not be allowed play in cut grass
- Keeping windows shut to prevent pollens drifting indoor
- Pollen filters can be fitted to vehicles
- Vaseline applied to nostrils may reduce pollen penetration of the nasal mucosa
- Showering or bathing once in for the day
- Wear wrap around sunglasses
Most of the above recommendations are based on expert consensus rather than randomised clinical trials.