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Allergies in a child..

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metamorphisis posted 8/18/2013 21:00 PM

I've long suspected my ds who is 9 now has allergies. It's never been really bad. I can just remember so many times when he would get up and I'd think "Oh here comes a cold" and by the end of the day it was gone. It took me awhile to clue in though. They seem to be getting worse. He got a cough last September and it just never seemed to be gone. It was mild, never too concerning but was around off and on for months. I know that sounds awful that I didn't go to the doctor but again it was more of a "Hmm.. you have a cough maybe I should make an appointment" then nothing for a week, and then "Oh there's that mild cough again."

Well this week his been waking up sneezy and stuffed up. My dd is sick so I was sure that he was getting there too. Nope. Sneezy and stuffy in the morning and fine by afternoon.

Then came today. The boy woke up sneezing and it wouldn't stop. Over and over and over.
So we went to the drug store (doctor isn't open today) and bought some childrens Aerius on the advice of the pharmacist and we gave it to him in the car. He sneezed halfway through grocery shopping and the Aerius kicked in and voila.. it was all gone. No more watery eyes, no more runny nose, no more sneezing. I would estimate that from the time he woke up to the time the medication worked he sneezed maybe 150 times.

So. I don't know what I am asking here. Where do I start? Our family doctor? Ask for an appointment with an allergist? It just seems to be getting worse and I don't know where to start to find out what it is.
I vacuumed his vents and his mattress and washed his sheets and blankets. My mom suggested a special cover for his mattress and pillow so I will look for those.
Just wondering if this sounds familiar to anyone.

jrc1963 posted 8/18/2013 21:40 PM

Sounds like allergies to me. They can get worse over time. I know mine have. I'd give the family Dr a call just to be sure.

Hope he feels better soon.

caregiver9000 posted 8/18/2013 21:48 PM

If he is waking up with allergies, definitely check the sleeping area. Under the bed for dust and the wall behind the headboard.

They make hypo allergenic pillows, which are NOT feather based or down.

An allergy pill before bedtime might help as well.

But also consider if he is coughing due to reflux at night that is irritating the throat. This doesn't explain the sneezing, but the coughing is more chronic it sounds like?

Whatever it ends up being, you'll have him comfortable in no time once you figure it out.

purplejacket4 posted 8/18/2013 22:42 PM

If you are located in the US ragweed season just started and is bad in places. What is the active ingredient in his OTC med? I would start with dusting, vacuuming and getting a HEPA filter for his bedroom. His PCP (pedi or FP) is fine. We only refer to an allergist when all OTC and Rx drugs fail.

metamorphisis posted 8/18/2013 23:12 PM

Thanks you guys
I will make an appointment with our Family Dr.

PJ, The active ingredient in the Aerius is desloratadine.

purplejacket4 posted 8/18/2013 23:25 PM

Ok so it's basically Claritin. Good choice. If the sx are bad enough you can give that in the morning and benedryl at night. He probably needs a good prescription steroid nasal spray.

metamorphisis posted 8/19/2013 05:49 AM

Since ragweed was mentioned,I looked up the pollen report for our area today and the high alert is for Ragweed. I looked at a picture of Ragweed.
We have a swale in our backyard for drainage.It's always wet so we don't mow in there. What do you think is growing in there? Yep, Ragweed in the back corner.

I'll go in and dig it out since his room window looks out on the backyard. Hopefully that helps.
I almost wonder if the cough isn't from the constant nasal drip from the allergies. He doesn't have it right now, and hasn't all summer, but this would be about the time it starts every year.
Like I mentioned, it was mild before, but he wouldn't be able to go to school with the reaction he had yesterday so it's best I figure this out and get him comfortable quickly

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:50 AM, August 19th (Monday)]

cmego posted 8/19/2013 07:35 AM

Both my kids see an allergist. They have seasonal/pet allergies along with one kid with severe food allergies. Both take multiple medications to combat the symptoms (eye drops, nasal sprays during the worst of the season) plus meds.

I have also sealed all of our mattresses and pillows with an allergy barrier zippy mattress cover thing.

With all of this in place, we live a normal life of pets and playing outside with few side effects of coughing/sneezing/itchies.

lynnm1947 posted 8/19/2013 07:50 AM

As an allergy sufferer, I'd say he sounds as if he's meeting ragweed head on. 'Tis the season.

lynnm1947 posted 8/19/2013 07:52 AM

BTW, you don't need ragweed growing in your garden for it to be a problem. In a windy day the pollen can travel huge distances.

unfound posted 8/19/2013 07:58 AM

Poor baby .

ds#1 has horrible allergies. When he was tested it was easier to read what he wasn't allergic to vs what he was allergic to. He did shots weekly from 5years old to 10 (maxed out, can't do anymore), and it helped tremendously, but he'll never be allergy free.

Some things we do:

Check the mold/pollen/allergen levels every day. There should be something online if your local news doesn't report it. Limit outdoor activities if it's high.

Change his bedding 2x a week.

Change our furnace/air filters (and we get the "good" ones) monthly.

If he's been outside for an extended time and the allergen level is high, we have him change clothes and wash his exposed skin as soon as he gets home.

Keep benydryl (sp) on hand. That's the only med that seems to help his symptoms!

We'd like to be able to pull up the carpet in the house and replace it with hardwood, as the carpet holds in dust and such. Until we can, we vacuum ... A LOT!

Do get him into see a Dr (don't know how your system works.. if you need a referral to an allergist or not).

I hope he can find some relief.

tushnurse posted 8/19/2013 08:14 AM

I would start with the OTC meds, and see if you can get a handle on it. If not then go to his Dr.

Sinus drainage does cause some kids to cough, it's usually a little dry hacky cough. Gum can be a life saver with it.

My boy who is 16 now has late summer/fall allergies. Seems to be really bad this year. He does best with Pseudophed during the day, and Benadryl at bedtime. He keeps gum and mints on him most of the time as well. The bad thing is pseudophed is so hard to get now.

Since is seems to come and go it's probably not a dust allergy, but a good way to tell if its a pollen thing is does he improve when it rains. If so you have your answer. Allergies can change too, he may have a few really bad years with it, and then slowly or suddenly no more problems.

Good Luck!!

Amazonia posted 8/19/2013 08:26 AM

wonder if the cough isn't from the constant nasal drip from the allergies

My SO has this happen during allergy season, the cough usually clues him in to the fact that his allergies are amping up. So it's very possible.

I second a good, thorough cleaning of his room, every week if the windows are open, every other if not. It's amazing what just hangs out in the air.

Lionne posted 8/19/2013 09:15 AM

I agree with everyone. Allergists are great resources but if the OTC and cleaning works then stay with that for now. We wound up removing all dust collectors, installing (fake) wood floors and mopping walls and ceiling weekly.

I'll add that if he plays outdoors he should never go to bed unless his hair is washed. If he is allergic to pollen, it's in his hair, on his pillow and he's breathing it all night long...

tushnurse posted 8/19/2013 18:56 PM

Yes what scaredy said. I forgot that tidbit. Poor kid was miserable this weekend we camped and fished. He came home showered and put on fresh clean clothes took Benadryl slept in his closed window room and this pm he is magically better.

The shower and change of clothes is an absolute necessity. I forgot because my guy does it without a reminder now.

kernel posted 8/19/2013 20:14 PM

The shower and change of clothes is an absolute necessity.

This ^^^^ can help immensely. And ragweed is the culprit in my neck of the woods as well.

dazdandconfuzed posted 8/19/2013 20:20 PM

I hope you are successful digging up the ragweed. It can be very invasive and hard to get rid of. Good luck!

brooke4 posted 8/20/2013 15:06 PM

In addition to showering to get the pollen off, nasal rinsing (if you can convince him) with a Neil Med sinus rinse bottle has made an enormous difference to the allergy sufferers in my family. The allergist pointed out that it's of limited use washing the pollen off your body if it's still clinging to the inside of your nose...

We've also found Allegra (called Telfast in the UK, not sure what it is in Canada) to be much more effective than Claritin and no drowsiness like Benadryl.

metamorphisis posted 8/20/2013 15:38 PM

Thanks everyone. He was good yesterday, and then sneezy again this morning so I gave him the Aerius as he was going out with Nana for the day and I wanted him to feel well.

The showering before bed is a great idea and I swear by saline rinse for when I get a sinus infection so we'll see if he's willing to try.

I just remembered we were at Disney in Florida in February a few years back and this happened there too while we were taking a stroll around the resort. There was a lot of vegetation off the path, so there must be something there too. He sneezes on all of our Disney trips now that I think of it.. but not a really bad reaction.

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