Home » About Tashua » Messages from the School Nurse » A NOTE FROM OUR NURSE ~ April 2017




Spring Allergy Season Has Arrived
Environmental/seasonal allergies should be suspected with repeated or
chronic cold-like symptoms that last more than a week or two,
or that develop at about the same time every year. These could include:
* Runny nose
* Nasal stuffiness
* Sneezing
* Throat clearing
* Nose rubbing
* Sniffling
* Snorting
* Sneezing
* Itchy, runny eyes

Itchiness is not usually a complaint with a cold, but it is the hallmark of an allergy problem.
Several effective, easy-to-use medications are available to treat allergy symptoms. Some are available by
prescription; others, over-the-counter. As with any medications, over-the-counter products should be used
only with the advice of your child’s doctor.
Antihistamines dampen the allergic reaction mainly by suppressing the effects of histamine (itching, swelling, and mucus production) in the tissues. For mild allergy symptoms, your child’s doctor may recommend one of the
antihistamines widely available over-the-counter. Examples of antihistamines are Benadryl (may cause
drowsiness) and Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec (less likely to cause drowsiness).
Antihistamines help stop runny nose, itching, and sneezing, but they have little effect on nasal congestion or
stuffiness. To cover the range of symptoms, an antihistamine is often given together with a decongestant,
sometimes combined in a single medication. This is the “D” in meds such as Claritin D and Allegra D.
Decongestants taken by mouth can cause stimulation. Children taking these medications may act hyper, feel anxious, have a racing heart, or find it difficult to get to sleep. Because of these possible side effects, it is best to avoid using long-term daily decongestants to control your child’s nasal congestion, and instead, use another type of medication, such as a nasal corticosteroid spray. Nasacort and Flonase are frequently recommended nasal corticosteroids.

Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may be recommended to reduce your child’s sensitivity to airborne allergens. This form of treatment consists of giving a person material he is allergic to, by injection, with the goal of changing his immune system and making him less allergic to that material. After a number of months of immunotherapy, a child usually feels his allergy symptoms are better.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics www.healthychildren.org

Susan Quigley, RN, NCSN

April 2017 Tiger Times