Glorious sunshine at last! As you lather on that next layer of suntan lotion (for me that’s applying lotion to 6 children too!) spare a moment to think of those poor hay fever sufferers when the pollen count is high at this time of year.
We get plenty of questions about hay fever at our Mini First Aid classes. So here are some answers to our most common questions; along with a few tips on how best to treat hay fever as well as the medicines you can give to children and take yourself if you are pregnant.
What causes hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Pollen is a fine powder from plants.
What are the main symptoms?
If you have asthma, you might also:
How can I tell the difference between hay fever and a common cold?
Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold which usually goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.
Top tips for treatment at home
There is no cure for hay fever (for now) and you cannot prevent it. Here are some ways to ease your symptoms:
Speak to your pharmacist if you have hay fever. They can give advice and suggest the best treatments, including antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays.
What medicine can I give my children?
Cetirizine tablets and liquid that you buy from pharmacies and supermarkets can be taken by adults and children aged 6 and older. Cetirizine is a medicine which is also called by the brand names Benadryl Allergy, Piriteze and Zirtek.
The liquid may be easier for children to take than tablets/capsules. The liquid medicine will come with a plastic syringe or spoon to help you measure out the right dose. If you don't have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. DO NOT use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
Children over the age of 2 can also take liquid cetirizine for hay fever and skin allergies. Cetirizine can also be taken under medical supervision by children aged 1 year and older.
If you or your child has been prescribed cetirizine, follow your doctor's instructions about how and when to take it. If you have bought cetirizine from a pharmacy or shop, follow the instructions that come with the packet.
Always ask your pharmacist for advice as cetirizine is not suitable for some people.
Can I take hay fever medicine during pregnancy?
It depends on the medicine. During pregnancy, you can take some hay fever medicines but not others because there is not enough evidence on their safety. Although you can buy many hay fever medicines over the counter, we would always recommend asking your pharmacist or GP for advice, before taking any medicine when you're pregnant. He/she will assess your symptoms and the benefits of taking a medicine against the risk of any side effects.
For further information and advice about hay fever, go to Allergy UK.
Thank you to NHS Choices for information.
We have an unbelievable prize this week from our good friends at Mothercare! We have a £200 voucher, perfect for purchasing those summer holiday essentials for all the family! Start compiling your shopping lists now!
Posted on Jan 15, 2019 by Matt
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