A photo of Dr. Malaika Graves wearing a white lab coat.
Malaika Graves, M.D., pediatric care, MemorialCare Medical Group – Long Beach (Los Altos). Photo courtesy of MemorialCare.

By Malaika Graves, M.D., pediatric care, MemorialCare Medical Group – Long Beach (Los Altos)

As the seasons unfold, so do the challenges posed by airborne allergens, particularly for parents of children prone to seasonal allergies. As a pediatrician with MemorialCare Medical Group in Torrance, I work with my patients to effectively manage allergy triggers to ensure their children thrive in every season.

Recognizing the signs of seasonal allergies early is crucial, as children can develop allergies at any age. Symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, and fatigue are common indicators and can affect a child’s behavior, mood, and academic performance. Children may become irritable, restless, or have trouble concentrating in school due to the discomfort.

Allergies can sometimes be mistaken for a common cold, as they share similar symptoms. While colds usually subside within a week or two, allergy symptoms persist as long as the child is exposed to the allergen, and if they last more than a week or two, they may be an indication of allergies.

Prevention plays a key role in managing seasonal allergies in children. I recommend practical measures to minimize exposure to allergens, including keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons, using air purifiers, regularly washing of bed linens and stuffed animals, and vacuuming to reduce allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander.

While a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish can be beneficial for alleviating allergy symptoms by boosting the immune system, we understand that children may have preferences. For picky eaters, considering supplements tailored for kids or experimenting with alternatives like frozen fruits can be a creative and palatable way to ensure they receive the essential nutrients needed for allergy management.

Monitoring pollen forecasts is also important for planning outdoor activities on days with lower allergen levels. Other strategies to alleviate symptoms may involve over the counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, or immunotherapy.

Understanding and managing seasonal allergies should not limit a child’s ability to enjoy outdoor activities. I encourage parents to create customized action plans including adjusting medications, exploring allergen immunotherapy, or identifying alternative outdoor activities during peak allergy seasons.

Educating your child about their allergies is important for them to understand what allergies are, recognizing the sign of an allergic reaction, and what to do if they are exposed to allergen. This way, your child can feel more in control of their allergies.

When it comes to your health care, MemorialCare Medical Group Long Beach (Los Altos) offers the perfect blend of convenience and quality that you need to keep your family health including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatric care, urgent care and laboratory draw stations. Our urgent care physicians treat a variety of adult and pediatric non-life-threatening emergencies, such as sore throats, infections and coughs. For in-per4son urgent care, our Long Beach (Los Altos) center accepts both walk-ins and appointments.

To learn more, visit www. memorialcare.org/losaltos or call (877) 696-3622.