How to know if your child is suffering from allergies

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How do you know if your child is dealing with allergies?

Sometimes parents, even those parents who have allergies, don't recognize developing symptoms in their own kids.

"We're going to want to look out for in kids is sneezing, especially when they wake up in the morning, or sneezing when they come back in from being outside and playing with friends. Looking for itchiness and redness in their eyes, rubbing the eyes is a pretty obvious symptom," says Dr. Brian Schroer of Cleveland Clinic Children's.

He says that parents who suspect their child may have allergies should have them tested, just to make sure that they don't have something else, like asthma.

For those who do have seasonal allergies, there are a wide variety of safe and effective allergy products that are available over-the-counter, including long-acting, non-sedating antihistamines.

Nose steroid sprays can work well for sneezing and itching in addition to helping ease stuffiness and drainage.

The number one treatment is always avoidance, but says that's not always a great choice for active children.

Dr. Schroer says there are other measures parents can take to help reduce the amount of pollen that enters the home.

"One is, if they come in from playing outside, you can have them take a shower before they go to bed. That probably decreases the pollen levels they're getting inside of their bedroom and their beds. You can keep your bedroom windows shut, or at least all the windows in the house shut, especially if you have the luxury of a central air conditioning system."

Dr. Schroer says parents can also try having their child wear sunglasses while outdoors. This can help decrease the amount of pollen that blows into their eyes, which can help decrease redness and itching.

If you are confused about nasal sprays, versus decongestants, versus antihistamines, talk to your doctor about those options.

You can also check out the risks and side effects of all the allergy treatment options for kids here on this FDA website: HERE.