Do you give your kids spring allergy meds?

I was helping in Lilina’s classroom the other day and the entire class was sniffling and sneezing. So many of their little eyes had allergy shiners and were swollen and teary. The teacher said she was out of tissues because everyone was suffering from allergies.  She said she mentions it to parents if the kids are suffering but a lot of parent don’t want to medicate for allergies.

I try to give Lilina half of a Zyrtec pill in the mornings before school. She often fights me but I know she needs it. The last few days she’s been taking it willingly because she realizes how bad it is right now. She always willingly takes her preventative inhaler.

My other two kids take Zyrtec too. They never fight about it. They know they need it.  The allergist says it’s a pretty benign drug.

Do you medicate your kids for allergies? Do you only do it if the pollen count is above a certain level? Do they fight about it or are they happy to have relief from sneezing and itchy eyes?

26 comments Add your comment

catlady

April 14th, 2014
5:55 am

Well, first I think you should have them tested. There are some allergens you can remove. I am not so sure about just giving a child a “benign” medicine. Two of my grandchildren have been tested and take meds. Their parents have allergies The other two should be–they have “the look.” My spring allergies–trees and grasses/weeds–are severe, and I now carry a rescue inhaler, although I am loathe to use it. I tried one of the “preventative inhalers” but had to quit it. It made everything, including water, taste like it had a tsp of motor oil in it!

motherjanegoose

April 14th, 2014
6:38 am

Both of my kids took prescribed medication. Our son had injections, that was over 20 years ago. They also took the inhaler. We never had an argument over it, as they knew they would get a sinus infection if they did not stay on top of it and that was far worse.

I am just back from 5 days in Texas and had awful allergies. The pollen here does not affect me at all. It is no big deal. Others are miserable!

FCM….I emailed you about something…please let me know…thanks!

malleesmom

April 14th, 2014
6:54 am

Yes we treat for allergies even with the move to the tundra. Daily meds begin a month/45-days before season begins. Waiting until pollen counts are high will not help. One needs a level built up in the body in order for the meds to work effectively. As I’ve mentioned before, my oldest used allergy drops versus shots while living in ATL. Since the move, we had to discontinue treatment. So now we’re back to inhalers and OTC. No choice, minimal whining. Breathe clearly or sniffle and get worse. Breathing wins out every time. :)

Me

April 14th, 2014
6:58 am

I feel so blessed in that I’ve never once experienced these reactions from seasonal allergies. I’ve watched my wife and countless others battle the headaches, sneezing, etc. and pobably don’t fully realize how fortunate I am. We are also fortunate that the three critters don’t really feel any ill effects, either, so we’ve never had to make the decision whether or not to medicate.

A

April 14th, 2014
6:58 am

All of us are suffering from the high levels of tree pollen, so we are on Claritin and will be until the pollen count goes down…hopefully within a few weeks. We go through this every year and Claritin usually does the trick. Thankfully no one in our house is allergic to anything else, so it’s just something we go through for a few weeks every Spring.

TWG–you know that Zyrtec is not non-drowsy, so I hope you keep that in mind when giving it to a child off to school. Claritin and Allegra are both non-drowsy and may be better choices during the day with Bendaryl at night if needed.

Techmom

April 14th, 2014
7:57 am

I’m actually looking forward to the rain today… hopefully it will clear the air out a bit for a day or two.

FCM

April 14th, 2014
8:04 am

MJG–sorry, just saw the email. I will not know if I can do Wed until later tonight. My folks are flying back from AZ today, and I want to make sure they can ride herd on homework, etc for my two so I can see you. I will let you know as soon I hear from my Mom!

As to the topic: Yes, oldest started taking allergy meds while visiting her Dad over spring break and will stay on them until the pollen count is down. I am totally with you on that TWG.

I get a parent not wanting to medicate their children, but I don’t get why they let them suffer through 3000+ counts if you can help it. Would they not give them Tylenol for a fever too?

Techmom, I am looking forward to the rain too. The kids went out to play yesterday and the oldest (taking Zyrtec) still had to come in after 30 min b/c of the pollen.

FCM

April 14th, 2014
8:05 am

Oh we do the 24 hour Zyrtec at night so that she is not so sleepy at school. If Lili is having issues with being sleepy you might try giving it to her the night before.

Macy

April 14th, 2014
8:59 am

No, we’ve been blessed with no allergy suffering in our family. Now, I did cough a bit last night, after mowing the lawn then using the leaf blower.

I just have to laugh how we are all driving the same color car this time of year, you can’t tell a red one from a white one..everything is coated with a nice shade of lime green….lol.

HB

April 14th, 2014
9:44 am

I get why parents don’t want to medicate if their kids don’t normally suffer from allergies and haven’t been diagnosed yet as having them. Like someone else said, you really need to build up the meds early, so if for these kids it’s a reaction to an extreme pollen count and they’re usually fine for most of the spring allergy season, trying to treat with drugs for a only week or so and dealing with the side effects may not be worth it. Zyrtec can definitely make you drowsy until you build up a tolerance. Even taking it at night, at first it made my usual post-lunch slight sluggishness turn to grogginess.

As for Claritin, an unbelievable amount of money has been made off a drug that studies show doesn’t work well. It’s not effective for most people, probably even for many who think it works, because lots of those folks are actually taking Claritin-D. In those cases, it’s likely the D (good old Sudafed) is what’s helping, and the Claritin is still pretty useless. Taking Sudafed instead of the combo pill would probably work just as well.

catlady

April 14th, 2014
11:45 am

I believe Claretin D has saved my life on several occasions.

jarvis

April 14th, 2014
12:15 pm

It’s been a pretty miserable allergy season at our house. A pretty nasty head cold went around the family just prior to the pollen kicking up. I don’t feel like anyone in the home has been breathing normally for a month.

jarvis

April 14th, 2014
12:16 pm

Incidentally, I’ve never like the Queen of England, but my disdain has grown ever since she insisted that Kate start dressing more conservatively.

Putting her in skirt suits is like hanging a sheet over piece of art.

K's mom

April 14th, 2014
12:49 pm

I take good ole benedryl at night and my boys do too. My younger son gets ear infections and respiratory infections if his allergies get to bad and my older son just can’t breathe. My doctor and nurse midwife both said it was the most proven and least dangerous when I was pregnant, so that is what we use with the blessing of our pediatrician. I cannot take Zyrtec, even though it works well, because I want to sleep for days. Like HB, Claritin does nothing for me other than make me jumpy.

GA Peach

April 14th, 2014
12:56 pm

I have found that Mucinex Allergy (I think it is new this season) has been wonderful. It is 24 hrs and non drowsy.

HB

April 14th, 2014
1:14 pm

I just looked up Mucinex Allergy — new brand, old drug. Appears to be the same as 24-hr Allegra. That’s worked pretty well for me in the past, but I do better with Zyrtec. Adding good eye drops to the mix helps a lot too.

WitchyWoman

April 14th, 2014
1:15 pm

I definitely medicate The Kid. We’ve lived in TX and GA and now FL. She has been tested and we know what she is allergic to so we avoid it. For seasonal allergies, we use Zyrtec at night. This way she sleeps through the majority of the drowsiness. When it gets REALLY bad, it’s Zyrtec at night and Benadryl for the itchiness. Her allergist recommended this and it works. We also use a cortisone cream on the rashes and hives.

Stacey

April 14th, 2014
1:19 pm

@HB…My son’s pediatrician told me years ago that Claritan is a placebo and to give him Sudafed every evening in the spring and summer months. For the most part it works fine for him but yesterday was especially bad for him and I had to give him a dose before he left for school today. Hopefully the rain will help because he starts CRCT tomorrow and I will be reluctant to give him anything in the morning.

Incidentally, all Sudafed does is put me to sleep despite being non drowsy. It does nothing to relieve my symptoms. I have a low tolerance for medication and everything knocks me out.

HB

April 14th, 2014
1:54 pm

Stacey, I don’t know anything about its side effects, etc in kids, but you may want to look into Allegra. It worked ok for me (not the best, but it did help some) without causing any drowsiness at all. It’s tough with testing. You don’t want him feeling tired when he needs to concentrate, but feeling lousy from allergies can be just as bad. Good luck!

MissMary

April 14th, 2014
6:35 pm

Yep – meds here. Both of mine, now 12 and 10, have suffered from allergies (and asthma when they were younger) since they each were about 3. They have both had formal allergy testing, and it was recommended for each to use prescription nasal spray and Zyrtec. And here in Atlanta it’s about a 9 months of the year process, LOL.

Mother of 2

April 15th, 2014
6:49 am

We take the path of least medications, but certainly use meds when needed. My kids are older, so they are very good at using a neti pot and taking a teaspoon of local, raw honey every day. Unfortunately, medicines are needed during periods of very high pollen counts. Hope your kids are feeling better soon.

Me

April 15th, 2014
6:59 am

Cannot speak for everyone but, for me, I dislike the absence of the most recent blog link that was once on the AJC front page. I now only see the link to the overall blog and then have to select the blog from there. Maybe I’m in the minority as I can also see where others might prefer the current layout.

Blue Fish in a Red Lake

April 15th, 2014
7:58 am

My younger (9) takes Zyrtec, but it is of limited effectiveness. We tried Claritin before that, it was of 0 effectiveness. When we took her in just a couple weeks ago, her pediatrician prescribed a Flonase nasal spray. I use that myself when it is allergen-eriffic outside, and my allergy prone husband uses it daily. I guess the only surprising thing is that our older one (11) seems to have missed out on the allergy gene. They said it can take a couple of weeks to kick in fully, and she forgets it some nights still, but it does seem to be improving her symptoms. *crossed fingers*

Kat

April 15th, 2014
8:33 am

I’m fortunate to not succumb to GA pollen and its associated burdens. My husband and one of our daughters have it, but it’s not as bad for her as it is for him. We use Benadryl and give it before dinner time. That way, they go to sleep – on time – and aren’t tired the next day.

FLNavyWife

April 15th, 2014
8:50 am

I’ve never had much of an issue with springtime allergies, but my husband does. So did/does my dad…(what is it with the men in my life??) A family friend/pharmacist recommended the Publix version of Zyrtec…one tablet daily (I think) and it’s about half the price and works great for both my husband and dad.

Jarvis, I agree RE: the Queen and Kate Middleton. Kate has such great style and a great figure, and always looks polished and appropriate. I saw a photo of her in a black dress on this current junket…long sleeves/high-ish neckline AND below the knees. It looked so frumpy…I’m her age and have a similar body-type and clothing style (without her budget, unfortunately!) and wouldn’t wear it.

Mimi

April 17th, 2014
10:11 pm

Using over the counter medications only mask the symptoms rather than actually help get rid of them all together. My family has been using a neti pot with good quality salts and it works wonders! It rinses out the pollen/allergen from the sinus cavity, reducing inflammation and the reaction to pollen. I also have been using a sinus rejuvenation essential oil blend that works in place of a nasal spray, but works to fight off the infection since the essential oils are all anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. My favorite company is Baraka Sinus Care Company, they produce the best quality neti pots and oils. I did not want to give my children something synthetic that could possibly have reverse side effects. The website is: http://www.sinussupport.com Its amazing stuff, its worth it since having a family ill from seasonal allergies is the worst!