It seems that, regardless of the time of year, there is always a snuffle going around. If we have a cold, we can normally buck up our ideas and get on with it. If we have kids and they have a cold or an allergy, it can mean sleepless nights, clingy babies, and it will impact on us eventually. Allergies are a big thing now, with greater awareness and diagnosis. Whatever the season, there will always be a child with a runny nose, rashes, headaches and wheezy chests. They are all symptoms of seasonal allergies.
There are many traditional and alternative treatments you can explore, but what approaches are safe for you to try? And with the amount of chemicals in our products and the heaps of processed food we eat in the western world, it is going to have an effect on our immune system. An allergy is the result of an immune system that is out of balance. So, while we can attempt to treat the symptoms, the method of treating the cause is something that is very rarely on our radar as parents. Have a look at these things you can do that may help reduce or clear up your children’s allergies.
In The Home
An allergy in the home is where it begins for a lot of children. Asthma can be caused by dust mites that affect the bronchial pathways, a nut allergy can be caused in a child by not introducing a baby to nuts or nut spreads early enough, and the rise of gluten intolerance in all ages is the result of overexposure to heavily processed foods like breads and pizzas. We are all guilty of making a sandwich for our kids as we haven’t had time to make a proper meal, and it doesn’t mean you need to beat yourself up about that one time you fed your little boy a ready meal. I’m just saying that we need to limit the amount of exposure to potential causes of allergies.
If you have children that have allergies, there are household products like cleaners, detergents or skin-care products, which can cause a flare up. This is because they contain dyes, preservatives and perfumes. If you cannot make the switch to “organic” cleaning sprays and washing detergent, investing in a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter will help to remove the impurities from the air, making it less likely to exacerbate symptoms.
Investing in the right products that improve the quality of the air at home is something that will make a lot of difference. Even your old vacuum cleaner could be spreading around a lot of dust, and there are plenty of vacuums now that are good for the prevention of allergies, which you can see a selection of on vacuumcleanerreviews.co.uk. By taking stock of your household products and making some intelligent switches, you should start to see the effect it has on everyone at home.
Keep your house clean, but don’t over clean and sterilise everything too much, unless someone has a severe dust allergy. Consider what pets you have and whether they’re causing a problem.
To Medicate Or Not To Medicate?
The easy route for many parents is to get some antihistamines, especially as so many of us are now working at home or leading incredibly busy lives, and it can be a useful tool in tackling the allergy itself. There are benefits to using antihistamines on a short term basis, especially as allergies that are left to wreak havoc can develop into problems like asthma. You can purchase effective antihistamines over the counter now, but be sure to read the label, as there are many which can cause drowsiness. Steroids are another medication that can be prescribed for allergies, but they often have unpleasant side effects.
The other side of medicating your child is to go down the route of natural remedies. Depending on your opinion of natural ways to treat your child, it can be a case of trial and error. But here are some very popular methods of allergy relief.
Apple Cider Vinegar is an old remedy that is used to treat many health problems. It can reduce mucus production and clean out the lymphatic system, which makes it very useful for allergies. You can buy organic ACV but if you fancied making your own, look here for a recipe. Just add it to water, or mix it up in a tea so your child won’t taste it.
Nettle Leaf is effective as it blocks the body’s ability to create histamine. You can purchase a tincture or tablets from most health shops, or you can source it out naturally if it grows near you. You can make nettle leaf tea by mixing it with peppermint leaf for a refreshing allergy relief.
Probiotics is another way to balance your gut bacteria. There has been evidence emerging that during pregnancy, a mother’s gut bacteria can affect the likelihood of their child getting allergies throughout their life. You can either purchase probiotic supplements, or get in the kitchen and start making foods that are high in probiotics, which are fermented food, like sauerkraut, or drinks like kefir or kombucha.
Local Honey is another one that seems to work for allergies. The idea behind it is that by consuming honey from where you live will help your body to adapt to the allergens in the immediate environment. Honey cannot be given to babies under one as their digestive systems haven’t adapted yet, but if you have a toddler you might want to give this a go. Either mix it in some porridge or have it from the spoon. Start to do this a month before allergy season and it will help with the symptoms, especially hayfever.
A Diet Change is sometimes the best approach to tackling an allergy. Look at what your child is eating on a daily basis and if there are any patterns in if they feel sleepy, or symptoms pop up after certain foods. Gluten and its various offshoots, like barley, rye, and wheat, and lactose are two common intolerances now. Start by making a food diary, and from there you can start to notice if there is a common theme. See your GP if you have concerns and they can arrange for allergen testing. There are apps that can test intolerances, but by adding a “how do I feel?” section into the food diary, you can see if there are any foods that need to be eliminated from your child’s diet for a period of time.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own. Not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Contains affiliate links.
Join our Facebook Group
Free, friendly and supportive non-judgemental Facebook group for pregnancy and parenting