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Children’s ALLERGIES 101

Get a basic understanding of allergies, colds and how they both can affect your child.

What are allergies?

An allergyX allergy
An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless.  
is an exaggerated reaction of your immune systemX immune system
The body’s defense system that protects us against infections and foreign substances.  
. When your child comes into contact with these allergens, your child’s body confuses them with harmful substances and attacks them by releasing chemicals such as histamineX histamine
A naturally occurring substance that is released by the immune system after being exposed to an allergen. When you inhale an allergen, mast cells located in the nose and sinus membranes release histamine. Histamine then attaches to receptors on nearby blood vessels, causing them to enlarge (dilate)…
into the body. This histamine causes your child to experience allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, or itchy throat. Allergies are never contagious, but they often run in the family.

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Outdoor seasonal allergies versus indoor year-round allergies

Outdoor seasonal allergiesX seasonal allergies
Characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain allergens (see Allergens) found outside, such as tree, grass or weed pollens, mould spores, etc. (Also called hay fever and outdoor allergies.) Seasonal allergies tend to last for shorter periods of time than those caused by exposure…
describe allergies that can come and go as different plants like trees, grasses, or weeds come into season and release pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called a stamen or from the male cone of a tree. 
into the air. These allergens can be difficult to manage because it seems like they’re everywhere and they’re difficult to avoid. For kids with seasonal allergies, symptoms fluctuate depending on the pollen released into the air by these plants. The pollen level can vary day to day, depending upon several factors, including the weather. Indoor allergiesX Indoor allergies
Characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain allergens (see Allergens) found indoors, such as mould spores, pet dander, or dust mites (also called perennial allergies). Indoor allergies tend to last longer than allergies caused by exposure to outdoor allergens.
can occur any time of the year and are caused by allergens from dust mitesX dust mites
A common trigger for indoor allergies. They are microscopic mites that live in the fibers of pillows, mattresses, blankets and carpet. They live off of our dead skin cells. Inhalation of their droppings can cause allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.
, mouldX mould
Parasitic, microscopic fungi (like Alternaria) that float in the air like pollen. Mould spores are a common trigger for allergies and can be found in damp areas, such as the basement or bathroom, as well as outdoors in grass, leaf piles, hay, mulch or under mushrooms. 
spores or pet dander. These allergens can be difficult to manage, especially since they tend to exist in our homes year-round. Since you’re often indoors during winter, your allergies to household allergens from moulds, dust mites, and pet dander can appear to be more active, but in truth indoor allergiesX indoor allergies
Characterized by an overreaction of the immune system to certain allergens (see Allergens) found indoors, such as mould spores, pet dander, or dust mites (also called perennial allergies). Indoor allergies tend to last longer than allergies caused by exposure to outdoor allergens.
can occur all year long.

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What are allergy symptoms?

AllergyX Allergy
An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless.  
symptoms happen when your child’s immune systemX immune system
The body’s defense system that protects us against infections and foreign substances.  
mistakenly attacks a harmless substance like dust or pollenX pollen
A fine, powdery substance, typically yellow, consisting of microscopic grains discharged from the male part of a flower called a stamen or from the male cone of a tree. 
by releasing chemicals such as histamineX histamine
A naturally occurring substance that is released by the immune system after being exposed to an allergen. When you inhale an allergen, mast cells located in the nose and sinus membranes release histamine. Histamine then attaches to receptors on nearby blood vessels, causing them to enlarge (dilate)…
. These symptoms can be very similar to classic cold symptoms, which is why it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the symptoms of a cold versus allergies.

In general, signs or symptoms of children's allergies may include:


RUNNY NOSE
With allergies, nasal discharge is usually thin, clear, and watery.

SNEEZING
(often several times in a row) Colds and allergies both cause sneezing.

ALLERGYX ALLERGY
An exaggerated response of the immune system to a substance that is ordinarily harmless.  
EYE

Symptoms include irritated, red, itchy, or watery eyes.

MOUTH BREATHING
Can be caused by nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold.

NASAL CONGESTION
Nasal congestion is a stuffy nose due to swollen nasal passages.

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What is a cold?

Although allergies share many of the same symptoms as colds, colds are different. A cold occurs when a virus gets into your child’s body and his or her immune systemX immune system
The body’s defense system that protects us against infections and foreign substances.  
attacks it — this causes some of the same sneezing and nasal congestion as the symptoms of allergies. But there are some key differences. For one thing, colds are contagious. A child can become infected when someone sneezes, coughs, or touches him or her.

Luckily, cold symptoms tend to disappear in 7 to 10 days. If cold symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, consider contacting your doctor.

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A box of Syrup Claritin Kids

Claritin® Kids Syrup - 24HR

Claritin® Kids Syrup offers fast, all day non-drowsy seasonal allergy symptom relief in a great tasting grape flavour. Free of lactose, alcohol and dye. For ages 2-12