Person with red nose holding a box of tissues

Allergies and asthma are common conditions among children. At Touchpoint Pediatrics in Chatham, New Jersey, the medical team is well-versed in diagnosing symptoms like child wheezing and runny noses, and ruling out other possible causes. Offering annual wellness visits, urgent care, and behavioral health services, Touchpoint Pediatrics provides comprehensive care at all ages and stages of childhood. Learn more about seasonal allergies and childhood asthma, as well as treatment options for both conditions.

Seasonal Allergies

Kids of all ages can develop seasonal allergies, especially during the spring and summer. Airborne irritants, including pollen and mold spores, can trigger an allergic reaction in the body. The immune system mistakes the irritant for a harmful invader and produces antibodies that cause allergy symptoms like watery eyes or a runny nose. Children with asthma or a family history of asthma or allergies have a higher risk of developing allergies themselves.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Common allergy symptoms in children include:

  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing and sniffling
  • Red, itchy, or watery eyes
  • Persistent, clear nasal drainage
  • Itchy ears or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Headache

Many of these symptoms may be confused for a cold or virus, but if symptoms last more than a week or two and occur around the same time each year, seasonal allergies are the likely culprit.

Treatment Options

For some children, lifestyle changes are sufficient to control allergy symptoms. These include:

  • Having your child bathe and change into clean clothes after playing outside
  • If you have air conditioning, replace your filter often to keep out allergens; preferably with a hypoallergenic filter
  • Keeping windows closed when pollen counts are high
  • Keeping your child indoors when the grass is being mowed
  • Encouraging your child to wear a hat or sunglasses to keep pollen out of their eyes
  • Sticking to indoor activities when pollen counts are highest

If these changes prove unhelpful, your child may benefit from over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications. Alternatively, allergy shots can reduce symptoms and reduce the need for daily medications as a treatment for a runny nose and sneezing.

Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a chronic condition that causes the airways to swell and narrow, making it difficult to breathe deeply. While asthma can develop at any age, it typically begins during childhood. Asthma attacks are triggered by allergens, such as dust, mold, or cigarette smoke. When asthma is not controlled, it can lead to other health issues and complications.

Asthma Symptoms

The most common symptoms of asthma in children include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Productive cough
  • Pediatric wheezing
  • Chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest

Some children have coughing spells that make them gag or throw up. Asthma symptoms can come and go and may be worse at night when your child is trying to sleep.

Asthma and Wheezing Treatment Options

It can be very frightening when your child has an asthma attack, but fortunately, there are several treatment options. Treatment will depend on the child’s age and asthma triggers, as well as other factors. Your Touchpoint pediatrician may recommend quick-relief medications, including steroids to reduce swelling and bronchodilators to open up the airways and relieve symptoms. Some patients also use long-term asthma control medications, which can help reduce the frequency of asthma attacks and minimize symptoms. These medications may be administered orally, with an inhaler or nebulizer, or as an injection treatment.

Additional Resources

Here, parents can find links to helpful articles about seasonal allergies and asthma from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Choose Touchpoint Pediatrics for Personalized Care

If you notice your child sneezing a lot, wheezing, or seeing other signs of allergies or asthma, turn to the team at Touchpoint Pediatrics. Located in Chatham, NJ, we serve families throughout Morristown, Summit, Berkeley Heights, Hoboken, and beyond. Touchpoint Pediatrics is led by a team of compassionate and experienced medical professionals who take the time to listen to your concerns and provide the best care possible. Our pediatricians are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the office today.