After a dark, cold winter, there's nothing like the first signs of spring. Unless, of course, you suffer from seasonal allergies. In that case, all that's in bloom can make you downright miserable. If you have a toddler with allergies, it can be tough to watch your little one sneeze and itchy their way through the day. As a mom, you want to do everything you can to alleviate your child's discomfort. Which is why you've probably wondered, can my toddler take allergy medicine?
For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, grass, pollen, and mold are the most common triggers, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. As WebMD noted, antihistamines are the most common drugs used to treat allergies, as they block the effects of histamines, the chemicals released during an allergic reaction that cause all of the uncomfortable symptoms. Luckily, well-known antihistamine brands such as Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec are available in formulas safe for children as young as 2 years old, according to What To Expect noted. Decongestants work by shrinking the blood vessels in the nose, and can also be used to relieve congestion, as further noted by What To Expect. Antihistamines and decongestants may be combined in one medication, such as Claritin-D, however, they are not recommended for children under 4 years old.
Although there are over-the-counter allergy medications available for children, the FDA cautions parents to pay special attention to product labels and make sure you are giving your child the appropriate dose of medicine for his age.
During allergy season, you can keep some of the nasty symptoms at bay by keeping windows and doors shut at home, and checking the pollen count before you head outdoors, as the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommended. According to WebMD, allergy symptoms are often the most annoying between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. You can help make the mornings a little easier, by giving your child a dose of medicine before bed time. Before you give your child any kind of medication, it's best to check with your pediatrician and be aware of any potential side effects.