By Bill Sears, MD, America’s Pediatrician
For some children, even the thought of spring makes their eyes burn, itch and water. Their noses and throats also get itchy and uncomfortable. If your child’s symptoms are mild and do not seem to interfere with his life very much, then you really do not need to give any prescription medication.
The immune system plays an important role in the body’s reaction to allergens. Here are some natural, alternative approaches to supporting the immune system and relieving itch-causing symptoms.
- Eat plenty of vibrantly-colored fruits and vegetables. These play important roles in balancing the immune system. There is now science to support the old adage: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant that has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Peppers, onions and garlic contain compounds that help thin and reduce mucus.
- Provide temporary relief from itchy, burning, watery and/or red eyes by using Similasan Allergy Eye Relief. These drops’ natural active ingredients help stimulate the body’s natural defenses. And because they contain no dyes, harsh vasoconstrictors or antihistamines, they can be used as often as needed.
- Use a portable air purifier to remove allergens from your home. High-Efficiency Particulate Accumulator filters can remove dust mite droppings, pollens, molds, spores, animal dander, and many other irritants. They cost $100 – $200. Place it in the main living area of the house during the night to clean the air while you sleep. Then run it in the bedroom during the afternoon so the air will be clean while you sleep.
- Make exercise part of his routine. Regularly getting moderate-intensity exercise will help boost the immune system. Just be aware that pollen counts are usually highest during the late morning and early afternoon. Limit outside playtime to early morning, late afternoon and evenings during allergy season.
- Make sleep a priority. “The mind and body work better when they are well rested, and that applies to the body’s defenses against allergens. Aim for your child to get at least seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
Mild allergies or even a string of colds will usually work themselves out within two to three months, thus making more intense allergy intervention unnecessary.
For more information on Allergies visit AskDrSears.com
About the author: William Sears, M.D., has been advising parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. A father of 8 children, he and his wife Martha have written more than 45 books and hundreds articles on parenting, childcare, nutrition, and healthy aging. He is the cofounder of the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute for training health coaches, and he runs the health and parenting website AskDrSears.com. Dr. Sears and his contribution to family health were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.