Spring is finally here! The long stretch of winter is just about over, and the warmer weather of Spring is just around the corner. There certainly is plenty to love about this seasonal shift, but it also inevitably leads to more pollen in the air and the seasonal allergies that go along with it. While you will likely be looking out for puffy eyes, runny noses, and sore throats in your kids, you may also find that your kids struggle in a number of other ways during allergy season.
Irritability and Tantrums from Allergies
Allergic reactions are the result of the immune system reacting to things that are harmless to the body as if they were a threat. Pollen can’t infect the body or result in disease, but kids with seasonal allergies will react to pollen in ways that resemble a cold. These reactions cause inflammation, which can result in increased irritability. You may notice your kids struggling to stay calm or throwing tantrums in situations where they otherwise have no behavioral problems. Children with autism who struggle with sensory overload may also be more susceptible to meltdowns when they have to deal with physical allergy symptoms on top of other stressors.
Allergies Can Lead to Lack of Focus
The effects of allergic reactions can also negatively affect cognitive functioning, resulting in mental fogginess and a lack of focus. The use of allergy medicine can be one explanation for this since no anti-histamine is truly non-drowsy, but some of this lack of mental clarity can be explained by the inflammation that results from allergic reactions. In fact, ADHD has been strongly linked to allergies and asthma, although the direct cause-and-effect relationship remains unclear. However, it is well-established that kids experience struggles with concentration, memory, and cognitive performance when their allergies are at their worst.
Sleep Problems Due to Allergies
Another way that allergies can affect your kids’ health is disrupted sleep patterns. If you have found a bedtime routine that helps your kids sleep, you may find yourself frustrated this time of year due to your kids having a harder time than normal falling asleep. Experiencing inflammation and irritation in the nose, eyes, and lungs can make falling asleep far more difficult, which is why many kids have a hard time sleeping during allergy season. These sleep troubles can often make other problems associated with allergies even worse.
The main thing to remember when it comes to your kids and allergy season is to stay patient and be understanding of the extra struggles they may experience. Look for ways to reduce allergens in your home and use these strategies to fight allergies for your kids. The struggles of the allergy season are no match for your awesome skills as a parent!