Let’s face it, June is a wonder month – as in it is a wonder that we can fit everything in – end-of school activities, picnics, soccer, baseball, birthday parties, concerts and recitals. In our house, this crazy busy time is compounded by seasonal allergies – oh, joy! While it is one thing to have allergies yourself, it is quite another to have a child with allergies, especially when they are too young to tell you how they feel.
My daughter used to say her nose was “sparkly” when her allergies were peaking – a great description with the added benefit of being a bit girl-y, too! Now that she is older, she can tell me more about her symptoms, but I had to learn to look for things – itchy eyes, constantly runny nose, the super pretty back-sniff (usually accompanied by lots of throat-clearing). We found that some simple home remedies that are helpful, too. We use a saline rinse – not an easy sell but it makes a huge difference and is so worth it. Try Ocean or get a Neti pot. Daily baths are a must to get pollen out of hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Yes, if you are pressed for time, running a wet facecloth over face and head is okay… but the bath is best. And we needed a antihistamine that didn’t make her drowsy (so many of them do). After trying a few, we found that Claritin (meltaways we call them) does not make her tired – which is beyond great. No one wants to see their child side-lined by allergies or the medicine intended to help with the allergies.
- Change the filters in the forced hot air heating system more regularly than suggested.
- Close the windows and put on the a/c – although today I feel like putting on the heat – gotta love New England!
- There is no limit on stuffed animals (so hard to do) but I do toss them in the dryer periodically for a de-dusting. Don’t forget that plastic toys need cleaning, too. I found that some toys are (top rack) dishwasher safe. If you don’t like to wash plastic in the dishwasher, my children loved to pull a chair up to the sink (with mom close by, of course!) and wash all the plastic animals and other toys.
- Dust mite covers for the mattresses, box springs and pillows. This is a good idea even if your trigger isn’t dust.
- Check for mold – carpets in basements are huge culprits as are humidifiers (especially those built into the heating systems).
Those are just some of the things we do, click on the slideshow below for more ideas and information.
In the weird way the world works sometimes, the offer to write this landed in my in-box on the morning that my daughter and I had both taken Claritin on the way to the bus (I stash a few in the car in case we forget to take them). So it is no great stretch for me to write about Claritin, allergies or putting the house in allergen-free mode. Just a day in the life.