Do your kids suffer from allergies/asthma?

The pollen count was only at 185 yesterday and my family is already suffering big time! I dosed both kids up with Zyrtec before they left for school and popped my every day Zyrtec pill, and we’re still stuffy and itchy.

The tree pollens are out now and the grasses will soon follow. The AJC keeps track of the local pollen count and also tells you which types of pollen are out. Here’s the link to the pollen count.

I’ve gotten allergy shots for four years now. I’m down from three medicines for my allergies to just one plus the shots. I’m pretty sure my son will eventually have to see the allergist and go on shots. He seems to be snotty at the same times of year that I am. But for now I’m not willing to inject him with that many shots when the Zyrtec seems to keep it pretty well under control.

We’re lucky we don’t have asthma associated with the allergies. I know many, many kids who do. It’s a frustrating time of year because you want the kids outside enjoying the beautiful weather but the pollen means they are going to suffer!

Do your kids see an allergist? Would you recommend your allergist to others? If so, tell us who you see. What meds do they take to control their symptoms? Do they take shots? Do you keep them in from outside even in the lovely spring weather to help prevent their allergies from becoming worse?

23 comments Add your comment

Michelle

March 12th, 2009
8:24 am

My son has allergies, but not to the point of needing to see an allergist. I can usually manage his symptoms with Claritin or Zyrtec. I also like to use Dimetap Cold & Allergy. That seems to work almost as well or better than the allergy medications AND it has a nice flavor so I don’t have to fight my son to take it. Many times, he will actually ask for it. It is non-sedating too!

I don’t stop him from going outside. If he is absolutely miserable, I may suggest to him to stay in, but I leave the decision up to him and let him know that he might feel worse if he does go outside. I just make sure that he is medicated! Then, I make sure he gets a bath/shower before bed to make sure everything is washed off and he doesn’t sleep with the pollen all night!

Another thought, make sure you are washing all of the bedding in HOT not cold water! This will take care of any allergens that have accumulated on the bedding along with dust mites, etc!

Good luck!

JJ

March 12th, 2009
10:14 am

Fortunately, no allergies in my house!!!! They aren’t allowed. I have enough to keep me busy. ha ha ha……

My sympathies to you sufferers. Good luck for the next couple of weeks.

Stacey

March 12th, 2009
10:18 am

Both my son and I suffer from pollen allergies. Mine have gotten a lot better as I’ve gotten older because as a child I was pretty much a prisoner during the spring and early summer months due to hay fever. We didn’t have central air so the windows were always open with fans blowing and I would have to sit in my room with the windows closed. :’( I could play outside during the late summer months as long as none of the neighbors were cutting the grass. Strange thing is, one of my favorite pastimes was lying in the grass looking for cloud shapes! :D

My son has asthma but it is well controlled except during early spring. He uses a daily use “preventive” inhaler and I make sure to that the school nurse has a steroid “rescue” inhaler in case of emergency. He’s old enough now that he knows when he needs his inhaler and his teacher will allow him to go to the office to use it (he’s not allowed to keep it with him). The PE & ASP teachers also have him use it before he goes outside on days with high counts of tree and grass pollen counts. Like me, he tends to be fine on the days that we have pollen counts in the thousands. He also take prescription Singulair during the spring and summer months.

Becky

March 12th, 2009
10:20 am

None of the kids suffer, but I have a rough time with allergies..If I take medicine at just the right time, it makes for better breathing..As I always tell people, “fresh air” is going to kill me one day..LOL

DB

March 12th, 2009
10:58 am

My daughter has a tendency towards the sniffles at this time of year, but Zyrtec keeps it in line for a few weeks. When she was younger, she had an inhaler that she used during the worst of the pollen, but she hasn’t used one in years, now.

I don’t remember any but a few sickly sorts in school when I was in school in the 60s and 70s who had allergies. I wonder why it has become so pervasive? Is it just Atlanta? Or maybe where I grew up in Virginia, there wasn’t as much of it? Have people who grew up in Atlanta been living with this all their lives?

Atlanta’s the 56th worst city in the country as far as pollen (be happy you don’t live in Lexington, KY, Greensboro, NC, Johnson City, TN or Augusta, GA! They’re the top 4 worst in the country!) http://www.webmd.com/allergies/relief-for-allergies-8/worst-allergy-cities?page=2

Becky

March 12th, 2009
11:10 am

DB, I’m 47 & have been here all of my life..I don’t ever remember being as stuffy until I was in my early 30’s..I grew up in a house full of people that smoked & was never bothered by it, now I can’t even be in a house where pepole are smoking..I have a sister that lives in VA. & she nevers has allergy issues until she visits us in GA, same thing with a sister that lived 20 years in MO.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 12th, 2009
11:50 am

Good link DB!! — Also notice, we have new feature – We have a BlogRoll on the right-hand side of the page. This is the place where I can put links to features in the AJC that will help you — such as the kids events calendar and a parents restaurant search. I can also link to news stories here that I think you will be interested in. So check our Blogroll each day — it should be different on most days.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 12th, 2009
1:11 pm

I just added a link for prom on a budget. Look at the right hand side below the archives.

Cammi317

March 12th, 2009
1:11 pm

My daughter has severe allergies. On the worse days she goes through stages: first the watery eyes and runny nose, next comes the complaining of headaches and dizziness and then she will fall asleep where she is sitting, laying or standing. Her body just shuts down. One minute she’ll be whining and complaining and then complete silence. When it gets that bad she will sleep for hours. Her pediatrician prescribes oral medication, Zyrtec, I think, as well as Nasonex or Flonaise (sp?). We use those nose sprays sparingly because I don’t like using all of those steroids. On lighter days, she can take Benadryl and be okay.

Cammi317

March 12th, 2009
1:14 pm

My comments keep disappearing. This is the second day in a row.

Theresa

March 12th, 2009
1:18 pm

Cammi — I used nose sprays for several years and I swear I can’t smell things now — I’m sure they would make me less drippy even now but I know my smelling has gotten worse over the last five years — I used to could smell a dirty diaper a mile away and now I don’t smell them anymore — Have I just gotten use to the smell of poop or is my sense of smell decreased — the allergist doesn’t believe the nose sprays did it but I think they did.

PAIGE

March 12th, 2009
1:24 pm

My son and I do not have any problems with allergies…but my husband does! He has been going to the allergist for almost a year now and getting shots because he wants to be a good step-dad and be able to play outside. It seems like a good trade…I had to have a plastic Christmas tree and he get to be a pin cushion once a week :-)

Joyce

March 12th, 2009
1:52 pm

I only got slight hay fever growing up in MI, and that was in one of the worst areas there for hay fever. Once I moved here, I started getting pretty sniffly. My son also has some allergies. So far, Claritin and Zyrtec do the trick. I hope it stays that way b/c he plays t-ball and loves it, so staying indoors is not an option there!

Joyce

March 12th, 2009
1:53 pm

I forgot to mention that my husband had terrible respiratory problems growing up in South America–he used an inhaler and everything for many years. Ever since he moved to the Atlanta area, he hasn’t needed any of that stuff. Strange.

Michelle

March 12th, 2009
2:57 pm

I grew up and lived in IN for about 35 years before moving to GA. My allergies were MUCH worse up there. I had to be on Allegra (prescription allergy medication) year round! Crop & lawn mowing seasons were the worst! My husband also has allergies. His seem to be worse in GA.

Becky B.

March 12th, 2009
4:18 pm

I have heard several different times that taking a teaspoonful of local honey daily will help allergies. Has anyone tried this? I would love to hear if this has actually helped someone. Could be an old wives tale
but lots of those old wives are pretty smart.

Nurse&mother

March 12th, 2009
5:46 pm

Stacy, Do you live in Georgia? If so there is a law that states that children cannot be prevented from carrying a rescue inhaler on their bodies (back pack or pocked) during school. Many schools are ignorant of this, so look into it and arm yourself with knowledge when you go to the school. I can’t remember the name of the law, but it is named after a child that had an asthma attack while waiting for the school bus. Since he was not allowed to carry it on the bus or with him, he did not have anything to save him. I would insist my child be able to carry this around with him!!

Nurse&mother

March 12th, 2009
5:48 pm

I forgot to mention that I was a school nurse for 3 years. I attended a conference on pediatric asthma at Children’s healthcare of Atlanta. We had a wonderful pediatric pulmonologist. I regret that I cannot remember his name, but he was an excellent speaker (and physician I presume).

Nurse&mother

March 12th, 2009
5:49 pm

Becky, it may have to do with what your sister is allergic to.

Theresa

March 12th, 2009
6:53 pm

Good info from nurse&mother!!! That inhaler law is very important to know about! I’m going to make sure my niece and nephew know!!

Stacey

March 12th, 2009
7:24 pm

Nurse&mother…Thanks for the information. Yes, I do live in Georgia and was not aware of this law. The only time I have ever “insisted” that he be allowed to carry his inhaler is when he class went on an outdoor springtime field trip. I sent a note to his teacher telling her that he had one in his pocket and that he know how and when to use it. I also assured her that he knew that it was medicine and not to be shared with his friends. His teacher sent the inhaler and note to the school nurse who called and verified that the note was legitimate and then she signed off on the note (I presume saying she was confident in his ability to use it correctly). Thankfully, he has never had a severe asthma attack but I am glad to hear of the law as there is a first time for anything.

Nurse&mother

March 12th, 2009
9:56 pm

I am always the planner. It seems like whenever there is a medical crisis, it was usually the child with a medical condition (whatever that may be) that didn’t have a plan. I had rather have a plan and it not ever be used than have a crisis and not be prepared. I can’t tell you how many parents of children with chronic medical conditions there are that do not have a plan until the school nurse urges the parents.

Nurse&mother

March 12th, 2009
9:59 pm

Stacey, I wouldn’t be surprised if your school tries to buck this. Many schools are ingnorant and are more concerned about other children getting your child’s inhaler. Just be firm and persistant. When a child has an emergency, seconds count.