3 Safe Allergy Medicines for Kids

There are few conditions more common among children than allergies, and studies suggest that the percent of children with allergies is only going to continue to increase in coming years.

Like in adults, allergies in children run the gamut in terms of severity. Some children simply develop a runny nose and itchy eyes when allergy season rolls around. Other children suffer from nearly debilitating levels of congestion. Regardless of how severely your child develops symptoms, it’s important you know your options in terms of treatment. Here are 3 safe allergy medicines for kids that are proven and tested and that work.

1. Oral Medications

Most children who develop allergies won’t develop them too harshly and will be able to treat them using an oral anti-histamine. While many of the original forms of this medication caused high levels of drowsiness within children, recent advances in these medications have made them more suitable for regular daily use.

The majority of oral medications are available through prescription, though there are a handful like Loratidine that can be purchased without a prescription at most drug stores. Over-the-counter medications tend to be less powerful, which makes them more suitable for very young children but inappropriate for more severe allergies. Nearly all oral allergy medications are low-cost, and are effective at treating the more mild symptoms of allergies- things like runny noses, irritated eyes and regular sneezing.

Aside from antihistamines, the most common form of oral medications are decongestants. These are primarily used when children have excessively stuffy noses that result in significantly compromised breathing. These medications are considerably more powerful than oral antihistamines and should be approached with increased caution. Regular and excessive use of oral decongestants can lead to side effects ranging from heart and CNS issues to insomnia and anxiety.

2. Nasal Medications

Allergy Medicine for KidsThese forms of allergy medication all involve a nasal spray. Nasal medications come in varying degrees of strength, and can be purchased both over-the-counter or through prescriptions. These sprays come in a variety of different modalities, including nasal steroids, antihistamines, anticholinergics and decongestants. The form of nasal spray appropriate for your child should be determined by their physician.

Each form of nasal medication works in a different manner, and works best with different causes of allergic complications. Nasal steroids are often the most powerful and most effective form of nasal medication, yet they require daily use and aren’t appropriate for treating irregular flare-ups. There are also potentially negative side effects to this medication including stunted growth in young children. Nasal antihistamines are also most effective when used daily, yet their only known side effect is a potential drop in energy levels.

The nasal medications best suited for irregular use are nasal decongestants. In fact, these medications require irregular use as daily application can lead to a worsening of symptoms.

3. Injection-based Medications

For children older than the age of 5, allergy shots are being shown to be the most effective form of allergy medication available. Not only are these shots known to be powerful when it comes to treating existing allergies, but the data also suggests that they are effective for preventing asthma and other respiratory conditions.

While this form of allergy medication is thought to be the most effective available on the market today, it is also the most potent and requires a physician’s prescription and administration.

Allergy shots also feature a small range of potential side effects that you should take into consideration. It’s common for children to suffer from a small level of allergy symptoms when they first get their shot, similar to what occurs when a child receives a flu shot. While uncommon, it is possible that a child administered allergy shots can also suffer from an irregular heartbeat and other more serious problems, so it’s important you speak extensively with your physician before settling on this medication option.

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