Children’s Outdoor Seasonal Allergies
Help your child enjoy more of the great outdoors by learning how to reduce their exposure to common seasonal allergy triggers.
Because they come and go with the seasons, outdoor allergies are often called seasonal allergies. They’re caused by an overreaction of your child’s immune system to certain proteins found outside, from sources like mould spores and tree, grass or weed pollens. Depending on where you live and the current weather conditions, seasonal allergies can start as early as February and last until the first frost.1
While seasonal allergens can be difficult to avoid because it seems like they’re everywhere, there are things you can do to help minimize your kid’s exposure and to help them manage their symptoms.
Select an allergy to learn more:
CHILDREN’S ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
Itchy, Watery Eyes
Itchy Nose and Throat
Allergy testing by an allergist can confirm what allergens may be causing your kid’s symptoms.
Pollen from weeds, trees and grass is a common trigger for seasonal allergies. Pollen spores are small, light and dry, so the wind can carry them long distances. Pollen counts vary, depending on several factors, including the weather, time of day and where you live.
Tips for Kids with Pollen Allergies
PLAN PLAY TIME
Pollen counts are typically highest from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. so try to plan your kid’s outdoor activities for other times of the day. And try to keep your child inside on dry, hot and windy days when pollen counts are high as wind can blow pollen further.2
KEEP POLLEN OUTSIDE
Pollen spores can hitch a ride on your little one’s shoes, clothing and hair and get tracked inside. After spending time outdoors, have your kid take off their shoes, change their clothes and take a quick bath to remove pollen.
CLEAR THE AIR
When driving, keep windows up and set the air conditioner on "recirculate." At home, keep windows closed, use air conditioning and be sure to change your filters often.
Pollen levels change often. And when they do, so can your child’s symptoms. Check the pollen count in your area.
Plant an allergy-friendly yard for your kids to play in. Some common types of grass produce more pollen spores, including Timothy, Johnson, Bermuda, blue, orchard and sweet vernal grasses. Instead, try planting the female version of buffalo grass as it produces little to no pollen. If you’re planting trees, stick with species, such as Catalpa, Crepe myrtle, dogwood, fir or redwood trees. Avoid planting in your yard flowers that are related to ragweed such as sunflowers, daisies and chrysanthemums. If you’re not sure what to plant, ask your local garden centre before you buy.3
Microscopic mould spores float in the air like pollen, causing seasonal allergy symptoms. Outdoors, moulds thrive in shady, damp areas, including soil, plants, rotting wood, compost piles or dead leaves.
Since mould thrives in damp spaces, your child’s mould allergy symptoms may be more common during the summer months when it’s hot and humid. Although, they may be prevalent year-round in warmer climates. While pollen spores die with the first frost, mould spores simply go dormant during the winter. And when spring comes, the spores grow back.4
Did You Know?
While some moulds form colonies that you can see with the unaided eye, others can only be viewed under a microscope. So, just because you can’t see the mould, doesn’t mean it’s not there!4
Tips for Kids with Mould Allergies
LEAVE IT OUTSIDE
Shoes, clothing and hair can all be magnets for mould spores. To help prevent tracking mould in, have everyone remove their shoes before entering your home and make sure your kid changes his or her clothes right away after spending time outside. It’s also a good idea to have your child bathe after playing outdoors. If you’re pinched for time, at least have them wash their hands and face well after coming in.5
MAKE A MOULD MOVE
To help reduce the number of mould spores from the yard that can enter your home, keep leaves, grass and yard clippings away from the house. You can also try to cut back any trees and/or brush that are close to the house.5
SKIP THE LINE
Bedding or clothing hung out to dry on a clothes line may pick up mould spores. Use a clothes dryer instead.5
Six Things You Should Know About Ragweed. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 15, 2017.
A Quick Guide to Party Planning During Allergy Season. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 15, 2017
Spring Gardening with Allergies. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Mold Allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Accessed September 14, 2017.
Fall Leaves Are Great for the Garden but Can Be Not So Good for Allergies. Claritin Blue Sky Living. Accessed September 14, 2017.