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What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever has clear seasonal symptoms which occur each year at the same time. The strict definition of hay fever is an allergy to grass pollen but your child could also be allergic to tree pollen (usualy birch, hazel or elder trees), which usually comes at the end of spring, before grass pollen is produced.
Hay fever doesn't usually affect children until they're about seven, and older children and teenagers are more susceptible to the allergy than adults.
What are the symptoms and signs of hay fever?
Symptoms are most likely seen from March to October, but sometimes hay fever can be confused with a virus. The way to tell the difference is by how long the symptoms last. If it's a virus, they should only last for a week or two. Viruses rarely last for weeks and weeks. If your child has a constant runny nose and is sneezing every day for part of the year but not in the winter, it's a sign that they may be allergic to something.
Important symptoms are:
1. Itchy eyes
2. Runny nose or blocked and itchy
Daily non-sleepy antihistamine - NOT piriton, cetirizine one option
Steroid nasal spray - make sure take it right! For technique click here
For itchy eyes try Patanol or sodium cromoglycate eye drops, cooled in fridge and apply nasal bridge when lying down
Sub-lingual immunotherapy - see page
Hayfever is big risk factor of SEVERE asthma attack and needs taking
seriously in an asthmatic patient
Need more information?
You can find out more about hay fever at www.allergyuk.org