do you suffer from hayfever?
Hay fever is an allergy to pollen, a fine powder released by plants during the spring and summer months and affects around 20% of people in Britain*.
There are three pollen seasons:
Tree pollen between late March and mid May
Grass pollen between mid May and July
Weed pollen between the end of June and September
While it is uncommon in children under five, it can become a problem for some in the summer months. Your child is more likely to suffer from hay fever if other close family members are affected.
Here are the signs to look out for and what to do if your little one is prone to the allergy.
•Red, itchy and watery eyes
Key pointers to Hay fever:
•Symptoms occur during the pollen season which is normally between March and September
•Symptoms tend to be worse on days that are warm and sunny and are most severe first thing in the morning and in early evening
•Hay fever is distinguishable from a common cold as there is no fever and it can last for several weeks
•Take note of the pollen count (metoffice.gov.uk) and keep your little one inside if it is high or if it is particularly windy
•Invest in a pair of wrap-around sunglasses to stop pollen entering your toddler’s eyes
•Keep the car windows shut when driving
•Smear petroleum jelly around the inside of your child’s nose to trap pollen and stop it being inhaled
•Wash her hair, face and hands when she comes back indoors and change her clothes and take shoes off when you
•Avoid drying her clothes outside as the pollen can cling to them
•Pets can also bring in pollen on their fur, so it is best to wipe them down with a damp towel when they come in from outside and bathe them regularly too
•Use an air-conditioner in the home rather than opening the windows
•Wipe her eyes with cotton wool and cool water to soothe the symptoms
•Consult a pharmacist who will be able to advise you about any over-the-counter medicines which might help
•Nasal saline drops or a spray can be used to rinse pollen from the nostrils and to clear a blocked nose
•Steroid nasal spray and sodium cromoglycate eye drops can be prescribed for children with severe symptoms from the age of six years