It’s that time of year again; the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the days are longer. But it is also the time of year for hayfever to strike.
According to The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), hay fever (or Allergic Rhinitis) affects around 1 in 5 Australians and New Zealanders. This generally happens when there’s a higher pollen count (when the flowers are blooming), and can potentially lead to sinus infections - ouch!
While we can usually feel the symptoms of hayfever easily enough, how can you tell if your child is suffering? And what kind of child-safe treatment options are available?
It is important to understand the difference between a cold and hayfever. Symptoms of the two are very similar (runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sleepiness etc.) so it can be difficult to tell. Note the following points when trying to identify hayfever symptoms in your child.
- Identify when your child’s symptoms start. If they start coughing and get the sniffles after they’ve been outside or next to an open window, it is likely they are affected by hayfever.
- It is common to experience a sore throat as a part of hayfever. However, a sore throat from a cold will generally last longer than one from hayfever. A sore throat from hayfever may only last a day or two.
- Ask your child if anything on their body hurts or aches. Hayfever generally won’t result in any body aches (except headaches). If your child is experiencing body aches, it is likely they have a cold.
- If your child’s symptoms are lasting longer than 2-4 weeks, it is likely they are suffering from hayfever. As an allergic reaction, symptoms can be ongoing if your child is consistently exposed to pollen.
- Itchy, puffy and/or watery eyes are very common symptoms of hayfever, but not a very common cold symptom. If your child complains of irritated eyes, it is likely they are suffering from hayfever.
So now that you know how to identify your child's symptoms, what can you do to help them? Nothing is worse than seeing your little one uncomfortable, but it is difficult to manage symptoms naturally. Try some of our natural hayfever remedies below.
Think about the weather
Avoid playing outside on windy days, or straight after a thunderstorm. Wind is a great carrier of pollen, and can irritate little eyes and noses easily. The humidity of thunderstorms make pollen grains burst open, releasing lots of pollen into the surrounding air.
Clear their airways
Try using a humidifier or steam bowl with lemon myrtle or eucalyptus essential oils to ease a stuffy nose. A stuffy nose and mucus on the throat can lead to a restless sleep and make your child feel fatigued. Adding these essential oils to your washing can also help to kill dust on clothes.
Think of the cause
Work out what your child is allergic to and try to minimise their exposure to these things. They may need to have some allergy testing to pinpoint the main culprits. Alternatively, you can try taking note of where their allergies flare up more (whether it’s near a certain plant or along a certain street).
Onions are packed with the flavonoid quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine. Try popping a little bit of red onion into your child’s sandwich or dinner each day, so they can reap the benefits.
Use natural hayfever relief
The Brauer Hayfever Oral Spray and Tablets are safe to use for children over 2 years (always read the labels on how to use). They also contain natural anti-histamine ingredients like onion, eyebright and black mustard, without any nasties that can cause drowsiness.