Can my toddler take allergy medicine?

Yes! Seasonal allergies — those associated with pollen from trees, weeds, grass, mold or flowers — can affect children. Their symptoms can range from mild (sneezing, itchy nose) to severe (causing respiratory difficulty) – much like in adults.

While environmental controls can help, sometimes medication can be useful to help relieve bothersome symptoms. Medicines used for allergy symptoms include oral medications, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Antihistamines, the most common type of oral medication, include diphenhydramine HCl (trade name Benadryl®) and its longer-acting cousins Allegra®, Zyrtec®, Claritin®, just to name a few. There are both over-the-counter allergy medication as well as prescription medications. The nasal sprays can also be quite effective for children with nasal symptoms and are free of some of the sedating side effects that the oral medications can cause.

Discussing your child’s symptoms with their doctor or nurse will help you decide which medication is best for your child. Often, children are only briefly symptomatic with their symptoms occurring for just a few weeks each year and so medication is required only briefly.

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