Brighter days and blooming flowers can only mean one thing. . . well, technically it means Spring is here. But for over 50+ million of us, it’s the tell-tale sign that allergy season is upon us.
Visions of runny noses, watery eyes, and lots of achooooooos come to our head as we prep for the season. But with a few handy tips, we can keep the sniffle monster at bay! :)
1. Say Yes to Afternoon Play
Bees may love pollen, but our immune system does not. When this yellowish powder (you know, that stuff on the car every morning) gets in our eyes, nose, and mouth, it can activate our immune system.
Which means sneezing, runny noses, and watery eyes – anything to get this “invader” out.
So to avoid all that sniffling, let’s stay indoors during peak pollen hours, which are highest in the morning and evenings. We can save our super fun playtime for the late afternoon, or when the allergy forecast says those pollen levels are low.
Also remember to hop in the bath after outdoor play since pollen likes to stick to our hair and clothes.
2. Shut the Windows
We all love a breath of fresh air. . . until that breeze invites the pollen. Instead, keep the doors and windows shut during peak pollen hours and rely on filtered air conditioning to keep the pollen out.
Speaking of filtering.
HEPA filters do a great job of keeping out dirt, dust, pet dander, and pollen. But they can only work when we replace them! Every 90 days is recommended, but if you can’t remember when you last swapped ‘em out, well, it just might be time.
3. Clean. . . and Clean Often!
Those squeaky clean habits we got into during COVID come in handy during spring. Because, like viruses, allergens love catching a ride into our homes. And their favorite transportation is our clothes, shoes, and even pets.
Here are a few allergy-prevention cleaning tips:
- Vacuum at least 2x a week
- Dust weekly
- Wipe blinds monthly
- Change bedding and pillowcases weekly
- Leave bathroom doors open after showers (to avoid mold spores)
- Bathe pets weekly
4. Munch on Allergy Superfoods
Did you know you can harness the power of nutrition to tackle pesky allergies? That’s because allergy superfoods are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and natural antihistamines!
Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit are loved for their juicy, sweet, and tangy flavors. But did you know they're also great for fighting allergies?
That’s because citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C. Along with being a popular immune booster, Vitamin C has antioxidant and antihistamine properties that can reduce seasonal allergies, protect cells from damage, and help the body fight infections.
This springtime favorite has a special little enzyme called bromelain. It’s famous for its anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve everything from arthritis to asthma, sinuses and allergies.
Another powerful antioxidant is lycopene and it’s found in yummy tomatoes (spaghetti for dinner anyone??) Along with helping reduce allergy symptoms, lycopene helps fight against:
- Heart problems
- Inflammation ⇐ super important during allergy season
For an added bonus, as if we didn’t love tomatoes already, they’re also high in Vitamin C!
Let’s be honest, onions are not found on most kiddo’s dinner plates. But, they’re so good for allergies we just had to include them!
You see, onions have a special antioxidant called “quercetin.’ This antioxidant’s allergy-fighting reputation is so famous, that it’s also known as “nature’s benadryl!”
Now, if you’re thinking, “sounds good, but my kid won’t touch onions,” we have amazing news!
1) A simple toss in a blender, or other mom hacks are perfect for sneaking in this allergy superfood
2) Quercetin isn’t only in onions. You can also find it in:
There’s 2 things we love about yogurt – it’s super high in probiotics and picky eaters will actually eat it. Now that’s a superfood goldmine.
These probiotics are healthy organisms that live in our tummy and keep us healthy. They’re also an allergy relief wonder! When taken during allergy season, probiotics have been shown to lower allergy symptoms and even prevent them.
Spring is a busy season for pollinating bees, blooming flowers, and allergy flare-ups. But with a few tips from simple precautions to allergy superfoods, there’s plenty you can do to reduce your kiddo’s symptoms and enjoy the beautiful springtime!
 Imran M, Ghorat F, Ul-Haq I, Ur-Rehman H, Aslam F, Heydari M, Shariati MA, Okuskhanova E, Yessimbekov Z, Thiruvengadam M, Hashempur MH, Rebezov M. Lycopene as a Natural Antioxidant Used to Prevent Human Health Disorders. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Aug 4;9(8):706. doi: 10.3390/antiox9080706. PMID: 32759751; PMCID: PMC7464847.