Dr Mark Rosenthal

MD MB ChB FRCP FRCPCH BSc

Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine

also specialist in Food Allergies & Disorders of Sleep

A | A | A

T: 0207 351 8832

E: s.harvey@rbht.nhs.uk

A:The Royal Brompton Hospital, London, SW3 6NP

How to Manage Hayfever and Asthma in Children?

Hayfever is always unpleasant, but it can be even more worrying if your child also has asthma. What steps can you take to protect your child from their pollen allergy?

Managing Hayfever

Hayfever and Asthma

Hayfever is an allergic reaction to pollen. It can happen in response to a particular type of pollen or to lots of different plants. When your child has hayfever, the pollen can trigger an immune response in the airways. As well as causing symptoms such as a runny nose, the inflammation can also make the airways narrower. Usually, this won’t cause any serious problems. However, if your child also has asthma then hayfever can be more serious. The narrower airways can exacerbate asthma symptoms or even trigger an asthma attack.

Preventing Hayfever

The best way to reduce the risks of an asthma attack due to hayfever is to prevent the pollen from affecting your child. Here are some simple steps that you can take to reduce exposure to pollen:

  • Avoid any plants that are releasing lots of pollen or that you know will trigger your child’s hayfever
  • Check the pollen forecast and stay inside as much as possible when it is high
  • Get your child to shower and change clothes when they arrive home so that they’re not bringing pollen inside
  • Keep windows closed, especially during the mornings and evenings when there is more pollen in the air

Treating Hayfever When You Have Asthma

While you can take steps to limit your child’s exposure to pollen, it isn’t always possible to avoid it together. Children need to spend time outside and it’s impossible to block pollen out of your house completely. Finding a hayfever treatment that works for your child is important and you should keep using their asthma medication too:

  • Make sure that your child always had their reliever inhaler, especially if they’ll be spending time outdoors
  • Keep using the preventer inhaler to keep the airways as clear as possible
  • Put some petroleum jelly around your child’s nostrils to trap pollen before it gets in
  • Antihistamines can quickly soothe hayfever symptoms to reduce the risk of an asthma attack
  • Steroid nasal sprays may be more effective if your child often suffers from hayfever symptoms, but they need to be used every day
  • Your doctor may be able to recommend stronger medications if necessary

Most hayfever medications are suitable for use alongside asthma inhalers, but it’s a good idea to discuss the options with your doctor first. You should also see your doctor if your child’s hayfever symptoms aren’t improving or you’re using the reliever inhaler too often during pollen season. It’s important to get hayfever under control to reduce the risk of asthma attacks.