Asthma and allergy symptoms are on the rise.
This year has brought one of the warmest winters on record in many parts of the country.
Packing up the heavy coats and sweaters may feel good to many people tired of the cold weather, but it has also triggered an early release of pollen from trees leading to an early onset of asthma and allergy symptoms.
This may be of special concern for children with asthma and allergy.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children and adolescents.
Asthma is also a major cause of hospitalization in children and the leading cause of school absenteeism.
Milind Pansare, MD, pediatrician at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, who specializes in the treatment of asthma and allergy, says the most effective ways to treat allergies are avoidance, immunotherapy involving allergy shots, and medications.
Dr. Pansare offers the following 10 tips to prevent environmental allergies that can also lead to asthma.
- Take allergy medications and shots as prescribed by your physician.
- Remain indoors and keep windows closed, when the pollen count is high and on windy days.
- Dustproof the home, particularly your child’s bedroom.
- Eliminate, when possible, wall-to-wall carpet, curtains, and down-filled blankets or pillows.
- Wash bedding, curtains, and clothing often and in hot water to eliminate dust mites.
- Keep your car windows closed when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer to machine dry bedding and clothing, instead of hanging clothes outdoors on a clothesline, which can cause laundry to become coated with pollen.
- Consider putting a dehumidifier in damp areas of the home, but remember to clean it often.
- Have your child wear a face mask if playing outside when the pollen count is high.
- If you have seasonal allergies prepare for it. Start taking your allergy medications and nasal spray at least 2-4 weeks before the season begins.
DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, offers an asthma and allergy clinic in Detroit, Clinton Township and Southfield, Michigan. For further information or to schedule an appointment call (313) 745-KIDS or toll-free at (888) 362-2500.