From frequent sneezing and coughing bouts to nasal congestion and itchy noses and throats, seasonal allergies can make children miserable. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are one of the most frequently reported chronic conditions in children, forcing up to 40 percent of kids to limit their activities. In addition to the treatment plan recommended by your child's pediatric allergist, there are numerous home remedies that have been proven helpful in reducing seasonal allergies. As your child approaches his or her peak allergy season, try these home remedies to provide fast relief.
1. Astragalus Root
Astragalus root, also referred to as Huang Qi, is an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. Its primary use is to boost the body's immune system and strengthen the body against disease. Astragalus root also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that make it a highly effective remedy for spring-time allergies. This powerful herb works to reduce allergy symptoms by inhibiting the release of histamine from mast cells.
2. Saltwater Rinse
Congestion can cause an array of unpleasant symptoms in children. If your child has a stuffed up nose due to seasonal allergies, consider trying nasal irrigation with a saline solution to clear up his or her nasal passages. Saline can be purchased over-the-counter at most drug stores or you can make your own solution at home by combining 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt to 8 ounces of boiled water.
3. Local Honey
While there is no scientific proof that consuming local honey will improve seasonal allergies, many believe that honey can actually help allergy symptoms through regular exposure to pollen. Similar to how allergy injections work to desensitize pollen-allergic individuals by exposing them to a specific pollen, local honey is thought to also desensitize when consumed in small amounts.
4. Warm Shower or Bath
The steam and heat from a warm shower or bath can do wonders for stuffy noses caused by seasonal allergies. Allow your child to relax in a warm tub to help reduce uncomfortable symptoms and clear his or her nasal passages by breathing in the steam. Just be sure the water's not too hot. Mayo Clinic suggests bath water around 100 F (38 C) for children to prevent burns.
5. Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids offer numerous benefits to children, including the formation of healthy cell membranes, proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the reduction of the body's inflammatory response. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven helpful in reducing allergic reactions through their anti-inflammatory properties. Excellent sources of fatty acids include flaxseed oil, fish oil, walnuts, tofu, brussels sprouts, winter squash, and cauliflower.
6. Turn Up the Humidifier
If the air is dry in your home, your child may be feeling the effects of his or her allergy symptoms more. A bit of moisture in the air helps to make breathing easier, which is crucial during your child's peak allergy season. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping your indoor humidity percentage between 30 and 50 to prevent the growth of indoor allergens like mold.
7. Facial Massage
When your little one is not feeling up to par, a soothing neck and face massage can provide a healing touch. Not only is a facial massage relaxing for your child, but it serves another important function. Massage moves the lymph system in the area of the body most affected by seasonal allergies. With a gentle touch, massage at the temples, over the eyebrows, over the bridge of the nose, and across the tops of the cheeks.
Seasonal allergies in children can't always be prevented, but they can be managed with the help of your child's doctor and some effective home remedies. For more information about treating seasonal allergies, contact your pediatric allergist. Check out sites like http://www.oakbrookallergists.com for more information.