Do Babies Get Seasonal Allergies?

Spring is here, and everything’s coming alive! Trees are blossoming, flowers are blooming, and the air is warm and fresh. You might be out with your family, enjoying the weather and all the fun it brings, but then you notice that your baby seems a bit congested and fussier than usual. Is it allergies? If you’re wondering if babies can have seasonal allergies, let’s explore what they are, what causes them, and what you can do about it.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also called “allergic rhinitis” or “hay fever,” happen when the nose and mucus membranes get inflamed because of airborne allergens like pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. Your immune system sees these harmless particles as threats and releases histamines and other chemicals to fight them off, leading to symptoms like sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy eyes or throat.

For babies under two years old, seasonal allergies from pollen are rare because they haven’t been exposed to them long enough to trigger a response. But that doesn’t mean they can’t react to other things like indoor allergens or irritants. So, if your baby seems congested or has a runny nose, it’s worth checking out what’s causing it.

What Can Trigger Allergies in Babies?

Allergies can run in families, so if you or your partner have them, your baby has a higher chance of getting them too. With one parent having allergies, there’s a 30-50% chance the baby will have them. If both parents have allergies, that jumps to 60-80%.

Even though pollen-related allergies are rare in babies, they might react to indoor allergens like dust mites or pet dander. Other conditions, like asthma, eczema, nasal dryness, or milk allergies, can also cause similar symptoms. Sometimes, it’s just a common cold, but it’s important to know the difference.

What Are the Signs of Seasonal Allergies?

Allergy symptoms can look a lot like cold symptoms, which makes it tricky to tell the difference. But here are some signs that point more toward allergies:

  • Stuffy or runny nose with clear discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, throat, or ears (itching usually doesn’t happen with colds)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Sniffling, snorting
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Rash or hives
  • If your baby has some of these symptoms, especially if they last longer than a typical cold, it might be allergies. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to talk to your pediatrician or an allergist.

How to Manage Allergies in Babies

If you think your baby has allergies, there are things you can do to help them feel better. Start by talking to your pediatrician about what medications are safe for babies and how to use them. Allergy eye drops or nasal sprays can help, but always use them as directed by a doctor.

Tips for Reducing Allergens:

  • Keep windows and doors closed to keep pollen and other allergens out.
  • Use a HEPA air purifier to clean the air in your home.
  • Wash your baby’s hands and face when they come in from outside, and give them a bath before bed to wash off any allergens.
  • Vacuum and wash bedding regularly to keep dust mites and other allergens at bay.
  • If you’re in the car, set the air conditioning to recirculate so it doesn’t pull in outside air.

Dealing with allergies can be tough, especially when it’s your baby who’s uncomfortable. But with some simple changes and a bit of help from your pediatrician, you can make things a lot better. Remember, if symptoms persist or get worse, visit one of our AFC Urgent Care locations today! With a little planning and the right support, you and your baby can enjoy the beauty of spring without too much sneezing and sniffling.