Appropriate Ages to Start Allergy Meds on Kids
As a parent, it can be difficult to watch your child suffer from allergies. After all, allergies can leave them with uncomfortable symptoms such as sneezing, an itchy nose, wheezing, and swelling on the lips, tongue, eyes, or face.
If you take your child to the doctor for allergy treatment, they will consider your child’s age, overall health, and the severity of their allergies before making a recommendation. Often times, they’ll suggest allergy medications.
What Types of Allergy Medications are Available?
There are a variety of allergy medications your child can take. They come in various forms such as pills, nasal sprays, syrups, skin creams, and inhalers. While some are over-the-counter, others require a prescription.
If your son or daughter is over 6 months of age, they may be able to take syrups such as Clarinex and Xyzal. In the event they are a bit older, it may be safe for them to take a nasal spray such as Nasonex and Veramyst, which are both approved for children over 2 years of age.
Until your child is able to swallow a pill, they’ll likely stick to a syrup or nasal spray. Once they are comfortable with swallowing a pill, they may take a chewable tablet from Singulair, which is safe for kids over 14. Allegra is another option that is available in tablet form for older children.
Be sure to consult your child’s doctor before giving them any type of allergy medication, even if it’s over-the-counter and they meet the age requirements on the label. Also, keep in mind that children are more sensitive to drugs than adults so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your child and look for any adverse side effects.
When Are Allergy Shots Appropriate?
If your child doesn’t respond well to over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications, they may benefit from immunotherapy or allergy shots. Allergy shots are intended to build up your child’s tolerance to their allergens and will likely diminish their allergy symptoms over time.
What to Do Before Your Child Starts Taking Allergy Medications
It’s a good idea to help your avoid common allergens, or substances that cause allergies before they take medication. Make an effort to clear your house of dust mites, pet dander, mold, and other allergens that may affect them. You can do this by:
- Washing your child’s sheets weekly.
- Turning on air conditioning during pollen season.
- Replace carpeting with vinyl, tile, or wood floors.
- Using a dehumidifier.
- Refraining from smoking in the house.