Allergy Medicine For Children

Close up of pollenI recently found myself researching about allergy medicine for children.  You see, a few weeks ago, Z.E.N. started sniffling, coughing and just could not sleep at night. I thought he had come down with a simple cold, but when his symptoms did not subside after a few days, I decided to take him in for a doctor’s visit. The doctor advised that my poor boy had allergic rhinitis.

When a child gets an allergy, it may lead to wheezing, coughing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Allergies are uncomfortable and can induce daytime drowsiness, poor sleeping habits, and reduced productivity during school. It can also affect your child’s appetite, mood, motivation, and interactions with their peers.

Allergic rhinitis is estimated to affect 40% of children in the US. During the reaction, your child will show symptoms of stuffiness, nasal congestion, and a runny nose. A doctor may prescribe antihistamine or another similar allergy medicine for children to prevent or relieve these symptoms. Short-acting medications may need to be consumed every 4-6 hours, as prescribed by your doctor. Longer, timed-release medications can be taken once a day.

Z.E.N.’s doctor advised me to give him either Claritin or Zyrtec, which are both antihistamines, at bedtime to relieve his symptoms. She also recommended the use of a humidifier at night so that he could sleep better and using a saline spray to relieve some of his congestion. I’m not a big fan of medicating my child, but I decided to give it a try.

Lucky for me, I received word of a new bzz agent campaign for Children’s Claritinclaritin Grape Chewables. For those of you who may not already know, Bzz Agent is a word of mouth marketing company that enlists the help of people like me to try out different products and tell others about my experiences.

The Claritin Chewables are supposed to provide 24 hours of relief and are non drowsy. Sounds good to me, so I signed up for the campaign to try it out. In the meantime, I purchased a bottle of the Children’s Claritin syrup at my local drugstore. He took it a few nights until the chewables came. It seemed to help a little, but did not really alleviate all of his symptoms. His nose was still running and he still did not get a good nights sleep.

When the Claritin Chewables arrived, I started giving him the chewables instead of the syrup. Again, it seemed to help a little but did not seem to alleviate all of his symptoms. I can report that as promised, it didn’t seem to cause any drowsiness.

I really wanted this to work, but it just didn’t work for Z.E.N. I stopped giving him the allergy medication altogether and resorted to using just the saline nasal spray along with the humidifier instead and that seemed to work. I also keep the windows closed and keep the air central air conditioner running 24 hours on days when the pollen count is high.

For those of you who are looking for ways to alleviate your child’s allergy symptoms, I am providing information about the different types of Allergy medicines for children below.

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Antihistamines

Antihistamines are currently the gold standard of allergy medicine for children and adults. They block the effect of the histamine chemical, which is released from body cells after you have been exposed to an allergen. If you have hay fever or an allergic reaction, histamine can cause the membranes to swell in the nose, increasing nasal congestion and mucus production.

The most common side effects of antihistamines are a dry mouth, drowsiness, and sedation. This medication can also be used alongside a decongestant to get a better effect. Sleep inducing medications should be given to your child at night to keep him/her from feeling sluggish during the day. New antihistamines are not as likely to cause drowsy feelings and can be given anytime during the day.

Research has shown that symptoms of allergies at worse during the night. Taking medicine before bed will reduce discomfort in the morning that may come from nasal congestion and sneezing. Antihistamines can also be given before the allergy has a full effect on the body. This way, the blood can build up a protective resistance from the infection.

Nasal Steroids

Inflammation is common in allergies, so inhaling nasal steroids can be very effective. This is a prescription medication to reduce or prevent inflammation in the sinuses and nasal passage from a specific allergen (dust mites, animal dander, and pollen). The spray is applied inside the nose and should be used at least once a day. Some of these sprays come in liquid form, while others are aerosol puffs.

It is important to remember that nasal spray will not give immediate relief to your child. This treatment works over time by gradually decreasing mucus production. Your doctor may prescribe additional products to reduce inflammation until the nasal spray reaches its full effect.

Leukotriene Antagonists

Leukotriene antagonists help to block inflammatory chemical production. When the body has an allergy, it triggers the production of chemicals that tighten the airway muscles and create an excess production of fluid and mucus. Some of the most popular leukotriene modifiers are zileuton, montelukast, and zafirlukast.

Conclusion

Work with your doctor to find the best allergy medication for your child. Cells in the body can easily be damaged during an allergic attack, so avoid taking any products without consulting your doctor. This will ensure that your child gets healed as quickly and safely as possible.

Here are some more great articles about allergy medicine and children:

Does Your Child Have Seasonal Allergies or a Cold?

How to safely administer cold and allergy medications to children

Why the Amish Have Fewer Allergies

Have you ever tried using an allergy medicine for children?

Disclosure: I am a BzzAgent and I received a full-sized sample from them in exchange for my opinion and sharing of information about the product.

About the author

Diane Nassy

Diane is a New Jersey-based writer and blogger. She is a wife and the mom of a 9-year-old little boy. Through her blog, she wants to inspire moms to find Zen in their lives while offering practical tips and other valuable information to help families deal with everyday issues. Check out Diane's Google+ profile "

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