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Ask the Expert: How to treat kids with allergies

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Local doctors are seeing a big jump in allergy complaints these days, especially in children.

The snow and ice finally appears to be giving way to spring rain helping grass and trees begin to bloom.

And don't be surprised if you notice that you are going from blowing snow to blowing your nose.  Because of this long, wet winter it's possible we may have a really bad spring allergy season.  And not just in adults but in children as well.
Doctor Kelly Metz is a children's allergy and immunology specialist.  She says while it's easy for adults to articulate allergy symptoms it may be harder for children.  It's a little more challenging but not uncommon for kids to be feeling many of the same things adults feel.

Dr. Metz said, "Asthma affects about ten percent of kids, allergies are even more common than that."

Doctor Metz suggests if you notice children are getting symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion to try over-the-counter medicine first.

"With kids it's a little bit harder because of the indication with age for some of the medications," Metz continues.
She says if those don't ease the symptoms follow up testing, lifestyle changes, even allergy shots might ease misery.

Children can go on allergy shots, they are not recommended in kids younger than five, but some kids do go on them, it's just a matter of how allergic they are.  Even though kids don't like shots, you are introducing someone to things that they are allergic to in order to desensitize them over time.

The main thing Dr. Metz says is to start now and not later in the season if you really want kids to enjoy the next few months.

"You don't want to get primed so to speak, so if you start to chase symptoms that are already present with medication you don't do as well as if you treat them ahead of time," Metz said.

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