Bianca Castro

Back-To-School Tips for Parents of Children With Allergies

School starts in a little less than a month for most area children.

Doctors say parents of children with allergies should add a few more items to their back-to-school checklist.

One of the main reasons is ragweed.

Dr. Keith Matheny, a sinus and allergy specialist at Collin County ENT says ragweed season peaks around the same time school starts.

"Ragweed is everywhere in the air, anywhere there is a grassy fields, parks.  All the places kids gravitate towards will have ragweed," said Matheny.

He suggests scheduling a visit with your child's allergist now to create allergy action plan that you can share with your child's teacher.

Know what your school staff will do if an emergency happens.  For example, what is the school policy if your child can't find his or her rescue inhaler?

Also, be aware of potential problems in the school building your child will spend the day in. 

"The buildings themselves, after a few years, tend to accumulate dust and so it's important to keep those air ducts clean," said Matheny. "The environment around the child's desk is important too. The carpet is another place where allergens are harbored so it's nice when they can have alternative types of flooring too."

Some kids can benefit from long term immunotherapy, regular treatments given through a shot or drops under the tongue drop, meant to build up a child's immunity to allergens, but Matheny says those kinds of options should only be considered if nothing else seems to work.

"Flushing out a child's nose with saline spray, using over the counter medications and yet if they are still having breakthrough symptoms, that's when I would reach out to your allergy specialist for further testing," he said.

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