Any good parent will naturally begin to worry when their little one is suffering, with a nose that seems stuffy or runny, watery and itchy eyes, or fits of wheezing and coughing.
Babies can’t easily communicate to show what is wrong with them, so it’s often difficult to know exactly what’s happening, much less how to help.
While these symptoms are indicative of a cold or other illness, they can also be signs that your baby is suffering from allergies.
Generally, you need to be exposed to something for a little while before you become allergic to it. This is especially true for seasonal allergies, induced by agents like pollen.
Since young babies haven’t yet been exposed to high pollen levels, this type of allergy is uncommon until after the age of two. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, however. Some babies indeed develop seasonal allergies.
What causes these allergies, though?
What Causes Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies tend to appear outdoors – a result of trees and plants, for example. These allergies are most problematic during the change of seasons, especially spring and fall.
When exposed, your baby’s immune system goes into overdrive. Your little one’s body will produce antibodies that work to create proteins, called histamines. These histamines are what trigger allergic reactions, whether the allergies are from environmental, medical, or seasonal sources.
Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies In Babies
Babies and children who suffer from seasonal allergies will usually show similar symptoms to adults.
You can expect any or all of the following:
- A stuffy or runny nose that will likely feel itchy.
- Swollen, watery, and itchy eyes.
- The top of your baby’s mouth will be itchy, especially first thing in the morning.
- Sore throats, earaches, and headaches are common.
- Itchy skin.
In addition to these common symptoms, your little one might also develop dark circles under their eyes, breathe through their mouth too much, and frequently rub their nose or eyes.
As you can imagine, these uncomfortable problems and no way to communicate them will leave your baby moody and irritable.
Allergy symptoms can result in worse health problems such as infections in the sinuses and ears. Speak with your doctor to find out what is provoking these allergies, so you can best help your little one through it.
If your baby seems to have trouble breathing, get them to the doctor right away to rule out any other problems.
When Are Seasonal Allergies At Their Peak?
There’s almost nowhere in the world without seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are certainly common enough in Australia. Although, there’s no reason to stay indoors instead of enjoying the wonderful outdoors and playgrounds each state has to offer. Just be aware of what your baby may need to keep them protected from the elements.
In the months of July and August, allergic rhinitis will be the worst in Western Australia, for example.
In Southeastern Australia, you will find symptoms are most prevalent in the months of October and November.
From December to April, Queensland will be riddled with allergens.
What Can I Do To Help My Baby?
While there are plenty of medicines and injections that can be prescribed to older children and adults for their seasonal allergy symptoms, babies are more complicated.
The best thing you can do for your baby is to prevent them from being exposed to the offending allergens in the first place.
To help your baby during the months when allergens are at their peak, here are a few things you can do:
- Limit your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high, and keep the windows closed.
- Dust often to get rid of allergens.
- Don’t wear shoes indoors. Ask your guests to remove their shoes as well.
- When vacuuming, use a good filter to trap allergens.
- Change the filters in your heating and cooling systems regularly, to get rid of allergy-causing pollutants.
- Wash clothes and linen in hot water.
- Be sure to cut the grass short through allergy-heavy months.
- Bathe pets on a regular basis since their fur traps pollen and other allergens.
How Can I Be Sure It Is Allergies?
Symptoms of allergies can often be confused with colds. That being the case, how can you be sure your baby actually has seasonal allergies?
If the symptoms only appear during certain times of the year, it’s likely down to allergies. Colds can happen frequently, especially in colder months. If you’re unsure consult a pharmacist or your doctor.
Colds tend to be short-lived while allergies hang around for a long period of time.
While colds will often present with a fever and other aches in your baby’s body, allergies will rarely feature these other symptoms.