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How to help children cope with fall allergies

A recent report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America was released about the worst cities for fall allergies this year. It’s no surprise that Dayton made the top 10 (although we moved down from sixth to eighth). If you are an allergy sufferer, or have a child who has seasonal allergies, you probably knew this already. The top offenders for this time of year in Dayton are: ragweed, amaranth, goosefoot, marsh elder and sage, according to the report.

This year is predicted to be especially bad for fall allergy sufferers for a number of reasons. With the temperatures being higher than expected for this time of year, this will lengthen the season. There are also expected to be more high winds, which spread pollen around and outdoor molds may also be bad due to the weather.

What can you do about it? Don’t suffer in silence.

• There are many medication options these days. “If your child is not on any allergy medications, please talk to your child’s pediatrician,” said Shalini Forbis, MD, pediatrician and member of the Dr. Mom Squad at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “There are many different options such as pills, liquids, nose sprays and eye drops. Your doctor will be able to help you determine what is best for your child.”

• If your child is on medications, taking them regularly and is still having a lot of allergy symptoms — talk to the doctor. Different medications work better for different people. It may be time to try something different or add something to help when symptoms get bad.

• Consider keeping the windows closed and running the air conditioner, if you can. This way, at least the fall pollen is kept to a lower level inside.

• Have your child take a shower and change clothes after spending time outside.

• If you are not sure what is causing your child’s allergy symptoms, consider having him/her tested. This can allow you to track pollen counts and what pollens are in the air to help you anticipate your child’s symptoms.

“If you are not sure if your child has fall allergies and this is the first year you remember the sniffling at this time of year, it may be a cold,” Forbis said. “Have your child evaluated by his/her doctor and diagnosed before you start giving medicines for allergies.”

For more information on seasonal allergies visit

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