Back to School With Allergies: How Your Child’s Symptoms May Affect Their In-School Performance
It’s your child’s first day back at school, and they’re well equipped with the pens, pencils, books and bags that will ensure a good start to this school year. But then, 3 pm rolls around and they come back home with itchy, watering eyes, telling you day one was, “Okay, but…”.
Allergies—from pollen, dust mites, molds, classroom pets and food, their impact could be anywhere. And it’s not just the sneezing. Allergy symptoms can affect a child’s school performance, social life and even disrupt their sleep patterns, making it a difficult chore to excel in—and out of—the classroom.
If your child has a hypersensitivity, you want to make sure the bad stuff doesn’t get in the way of the best school year yet. Here are the signs and symptoms of some of the most common allergies to prepare for this school season, and what to do if your child is susceptible.
Fatigue + Drowsiness
It’s nearly impossible to focus without a good night’s sleep. If your child’s allergies are keeping them up at night, consider speaking with the specialists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM to find the right treatment to alleviate trouble making symptoms. Untreated, restless nights could spill into hazy, unfocused and unmotivated days in the classroom, on the field, and at the dinner table. Furthermore, make sure you’re not using an over-the-counter allergy medication that exacerbates drowsiness. An appointment with an allergist will point you in the right direction.
Hives + Itching
A common symptom of seasonal allergies and food allergies (specifically nuts, dairy, egg and fish), many people consider skin rashes to be treatable with a histamine blocker like Benadryl. That said, turning to over-the-counter medication could only cover up symptoms. To get to the source of the problem, speak to a physician at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM about allergy skin testing. Like we mentioned in a previous Be Well Philly post, an allergist will be able to identify allergic triggers and provide a personalized treatment plan that’s right for your child. Symptoms like these can negatively affect your child’s in-school performance. If you’ve ever had a bad bout of itchy hives, you understand how distracting (and often times embarrassing) they can be. Learn how to prevent them before they start.
Stuffy Nose, Itchy, Watering Eyes + Sneezing
Allergens like pollens, dust mites and molds are often prevalent in classrooms and could cause allergic rhinitis (otherwise known as “hay fever”), which can exacerbate asthma. There are several types of immunotherapy treatments that are extremely successful in stopping symptoms of these types of allergies and asthma. Speak to a professional at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM to see which one might be right for your child. It’s important to note that you should start immunotherapy treatment roughly three months before your most symptomatic time of year, but in conjunction with more immediate care, this preventative step could go a long way.
Issues After Lunch
If your child has a known food allergy it’s a good idea to speak with their school administrators to inform them of the situation. Ask for a tour of the school and some information on how lunches and snacks are prepared so that you—and your child—will feel well prepared and informed even before the first bell rings. If you suspect a serious food allergy, the specialists at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM suggest performing a closely monitored allergy skin testing and, if indicated, an oral food challenge provided on-site, to take the worry out of your child’s food allergies.
For more information on how Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM can help treat your child’s allergy symptoms, visit them online. To schedule an appointment call 1-800-86-COUGH, or book online by clicking here.This post is a sponsored collaboration between Allergy & Asthma Specialists ℠ and Philadelphia magazine's advertising department.