This blog was written by Michele Kuhn, RN, who has been serving the Kingsbury Day School community for five years.
Pollen has been falling from trees and plants in DC for weeks. That means that spring allergies are in full swing. Many students and staff are experiencing symptoms which can include: runny nose, nasal congestion, watery/itchy eyes, post-nasal drip, coughing, sneezing, headache, irritability and fatigue.
Seasonal allergy symptoms can be quite annoying and distracting and can create difficulties concentrating in school. What can an allergy sufferer do to minimize their discomfort? While allergies can’t be cured, there are steps you can take to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms or avoid getting the symptoms.
The following tips can help:
- Wash hair and shower at night to clean off the pollen before getting in bed.
- Keep your nose clean and clear of pollens or other irritants. Try saline rinses or use a Neti Pot™.
- Keep your windows closed in your home and vehicle to keep pollen out.
- Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are high.
- Children should wash their hands or shower and change clothing after playing outside.
- Consider wearing a mask when doing yard work.
- Try over-the-counter allergy medicines containing antihistamines, keeping in mind that products with Benadryl® can cause sleepiness, making it more difficult to function at school.
- Drink plenty of fluids to thin out the mucous. Hot liquids may prove to be more soothing that iced beverages. This is because drinking cold liquids will stall cilia movement within the nose; this makes it difficult for nasal mucus to flow through the nasal passages.
If these tips are ineffective, or they have triggered asthma symptoms, such as wheezing,shortness of breath, please see your doctor. You may need prescription-strength medication. Your allergy treatment plan will depend on your symptoms; how often they occur and how severe they are.
For additional information, you may want to check out the following websites that offer helpful information for both adult and children allergy sufferers:
- Allergy and Asthma Network at http://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org
- KidsHealth, part of The Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health Media, at http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/seasonal-allergies.
Please contact Nurse Kuhn if you have any questions or concerns. You may reach her by phone at 202.545.2470 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.