Kids and Allergies: Expert Advice for Keeping Symptoms at Bay


Chances are, someone in your household has endured the always annoying–and sometimes serious–symptoms and complications associated with allergies. Springtime can be especially harsh for anyone with seasonal allergies. While our first reaction might be to look in the medicine cabinet for relief, there are also more natural options that can be equally (or more) effective at keeping your family symptom free all year long. 

treating allergies naturally, Kids and Allergies, Natural allergy Remedies{Disclosure: We’d like to thank the naturopathic physicians at Canyon Medical Center  for providing and sponsoring this post. If you have questions about diagnosing or treating allergies in your family, schedule a visit with them to learn more.}

Before attacking those symptoms–you should determine with your doctor what type(s) of allergies you or your children are experiencing.  

  • Seasonal allergies usually show up by age six in children, and as many as 40 percent of children in the United States experience them. Starting as early as February, and depending on where you live, a child who’s allergic to pollen or ragweed may have any of these symptoms: a runny nose with clear, watery mucus; repetitive sneezing; nasal congestion; itchy, watery eyes; and an itchy nose and throat.
  • Perennial or indoor allergies–like those to pet dander, dust mites, or mold–usually develop a mild runny nose and fewer sneezes, but more nasal congestion and a post-nasal drip that can make sleep difficult for your child.

Now for some relief… Here are several options to consider when treating allergies.  

Get to the root cause

Sometimes, removing the offending trigger is enough to get rid of allergies. That is often hard to do in the case of seasonal allergies though! And, while it is easy to offer your child Benadryl or Claritin, these can cause unwanted side effects and do not address the root cause of why your child is experiencing allergies.  

In allergy sufferers, the immune system overreacts to common environmental antigens as a result of genetic susceptibility, nutritional and environmental factors and more commonly, an unbalanced immune system. This over-reactivity leads to the release of chemicals that cause the symptoms of redness, swelling, and itching.  These are all signs of inflammation and attempts by the body to protect itself from substances which are generally harmless.

From a naturopathic perspective, an essential part of treating allergies is the identification and treatment of food sensitivities and correcting the imbalance in the immune system’s reaction to the environment. Since eighty percent of the immune system resides in the gut, we cannot ignore the role a healthy diet plays in allergies. Many childhood allergies are triggered by foods rather than airborne allergens. The identification and treatment of food sensitivities can therefore remove allergy symptoms in many children and even help to prevent asthma later in life.  

Improve diet

In addition to getting your child tested for food and environmental allergies, or doing an elimination diet, some of the most helpful dietary changes you can make to prevent allergies are to eliminate dairy and sugar, which often cause the phlegm buildup in the throat and keep the immune system out of balance. Adding in supplements like probiotics, apple cider vinegar and vitamin D help to restore a normal immune response and can lessen the severity of seasonal allergy type symptoms.

Medication and supplements

Naturopathic medicine also has much to offer in the way of decreasing the discomfort associated with allergy symptoms.  Natural antihistamines such as nettles, quercitin and citrus bioflavonoids are a great go-to.  You may also consider n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which helps the liver detoxify and thins mucus, and more common vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin E.

Have these or other treatments helped someone in your family? Let us know in the comments. For the best course of treatment, talk with your child’s doctor or visit us at Canyon Medical Center to learn more.