Spring has sprung, and brings many allergens with it
04-08-2011 (Dayton, OH) -
With winter weather over and spring now upon us, it’s time to say goodbye flu and hello to sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes because allergy season is in full swing.
This past flu season at The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton began with a mild start in December but picked up after the first of the year, with 56 cases present in late March. The numbers have dropped off since then, but even in April Dayton Children’s is continuing to see patients testing positive for the flu. Dayton Children’s saw over 1,000 positive cases this flu season.
Although numbers have decreased from peak weeks, Dayton Children’s is also still seeing infants and children with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a virus that causes colds, coughs, respiratory problems and sometimes bronchitis or pneumonia in children.
But with springtime bringing pollens into the air, flu season is coming to an end as allergies have started to hit the Miami Valley. Allergy and asthma symptoms arise as early as April, and according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s annual list of 100 worst American cities for people with spring allergies, Dayton-area residents are at higher risk for allergy issues. In the 2011 AAFA list, Dayton ranked seventh overall for springtime allergies.
Normal spring allergy symptoms may include:
- Itchy nose, eyes or throat
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
If signs of wheezing or shortness of breath develop, it’s possible that a child’s allergies could have turned into asthma and they may need to see a doctor.
Dayton Children’s department of pediatric pulmonary medicine suggests contacting your child’s doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive coughing
- Chest tightness
Unfortunately allergies cannot be completely stopped but they can be controlled with several precautions. To lessen contact with pollens, keep windows closed, use air conditioners instead and try to keep the family inside when pollen counts are high. Also, children should shower after playing outside and avoid mowing the lawn if they have allergies. If problems persist, medicines such as allergy nasal sprays, antihistamines and decongestants can also ease allergy symptoms.
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