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So, my three year old son has severe seasonal allergies.  Puffy, watery, red, itchy eyes, sneezing, and stuffiness are his symptoms.  Last year we were told to give him Zyrtec and Benadryl...not at the same time, but you know what I mean.  Well, this year it just isn't working at all (not that it really gave him much relief last year either).  So, here is my questions:  Who out there has a toddler suffering the same as mine?  What are you doing for them?  When are they old enough to see an allergist?  Are shots in his near future, or is he still to young for that?  I am just at a loss as to what to do.  The lack of sleep in our house right now isn't helping matters at all.  Any advice, sympathy, etc. is much appreciated.

Thank you!



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I would ask your pediatrician of course...but our pediatrician recommended Singulair which worked pretty well. And FYI allergists will see children of any age, but I think you may need a recommendation from your pediatrician first. No idea about the shots, but I have friends whose kids see an allergist, and they have prescription allergy medicine for their kids. And I have LOTS of sympathy for you...hope we get a big rain storm to wipe all the pollen out of the air!
My son is 4 and has had seasonal allergies since he was just over a year old. We've tried Zyrtec and it never has done enough for my son.
This year we're using Claritin, which is what I use for myself, and it has been great. We also use a saline nasal spray for kids called Little Noses. We use the spray nightly to keep his nasal passages clear.
The Claritin and spray have helped us out a lot this year.

The Claritin and Zyrtec are usually 24 hour so I don't know how you could use Benadryll too- I could be mis-informed about that.

Good Luck! I know it's rough but it will pass.
My 4 yr old daughter had taken Zyrtec for 2 yrs but this year it wasn't helping with her seasonal allergies. I was told that it is common for an allergy med to become less effective over time. She started taking Allegra 2 weeks ago and it has made a big improvement (less nasal congestion and eliminated her cough). I just called my daughter's pediatrician and spoke with the nurse about trying a new allergy med without having to go in for an appointment.

In the meantime, you may try using a humidifier at night.

Good luck.

Thank you all for your recommendations. Last night was another bear of a night. He cried himself to sleep. Last year our pediatrician told us we could give him Zyrtec in the morning, and if his symptoms persisted we could give him Benadryl before bed. The only time we have done this is during this really bad time of the year when he suffers the most. At this point the Zyrtec isn't helping at all. I did get Claritin, and he took that for the first time yesterday morning. He was a mess last night though, so I don't know if it is helping either. He seems pretty okay during the day, but in the evening he starts rubbing his eyes and they swell. His nose also goes from being runny during the day to getted stuffed up in the evening. We have been using a humidifier in his room pretty much since day one, but it doesn't seem to be helping much either.

I am calling his pediatrician today after another restless night. He has been miserable for a week now, and I don't see any rain in sight at least until next week. I have had a few others mention Singulair having helped their child. Maybe the doc will give us some relief because everything we have tried so far isn't working.

Thank you all for your advice. I really appreciate it. This has just been so frustrating for us.
I'm so sorry that you've had another sleepless night. Yes, I too would call your son's pediatrician today and ask if he is getting the maximum dose of Claritin for his age/weight. When my daughter switched to Allegra she was only taking 1/2 tsp and that wasn't helping but when the dosage was increased to 1 tsp, Allegra started to help. My daughter has prescription eye drops (Pataday) to help with her itchy eyes. I bought a big humidifier from Sears online that has an 8 gallon output (large enough for a whole house) that is very effective.

Please keep us posted on how your son is doing and your sleep status.

Here's another vote for Singulair. My son is almost 5 and has been taking Singulair for about 6 months because his allergies lead to ear infections.
Well, we are heading to the pediatrician this afternoon. I spoke with the nurse and she said we should come in. Hopefully they will be able to give him some relief. Thanks for all of the replys...I will update you all once we see the doctor.
Thankfully my daughter doesn't have any allergies (yet) but I had severe allergies as a child and still do. One warning about Singulair, it does work well for most people, but for those who experience side effects, there are some pretty severe ones! I was on it for a few months and became VERY irritable, got anxiety, depression, and started having hallucinations (didn't start until after about a month or 2 of use). These are listed on the warning label. There have even been cases of kids committing suicide from the emotional effects of the drug. You can google it but don't let it scare you. Most people take it with no side effects at all, but it's good to be aware of the possibilities so you know what to watch out for. Just be sure to read all the labels and watch your son very carefully for how he reacts to it, including changes in behavior, as with any medication. The biggest pros I found with Singulair was that it didn't make you feel all "dried-up" like antihistamines and decongestions do, and it doesn't make you sleepy (even zyrtec knocked me out!).

Until you have him tested and know what he is allergic to, I would stay away from the humidifier. Warm temps and high humidity is the best environment for dust mites and other indoor allergens to live. Get Hepa air filters (the kind with the double - carbon and hepa - filters are the best) for your house, mattress and pillow covers, and if possible, get rid of thick carpet or thick upholstered furniture (or if not possible, treat it and clean often, including blankets, stuffed animals, anything that has a surface you can't wipe clean). These are all places that environmental allergens (including outdoor pollens from your shoes/clothes, animal dander, dust, etc) thrive. If this time of year is the worst, the most likely outdoor culprits are oak and cypress and they are very high this time of year (notice the green/yellow coatings on your car, patio, etc).

Most allergists will see kids at any age but will wait to start shots until 3 years old, I believe. But if you opt for shots, be careful there too, because if your son's problems are too severe, he may be highly sensitive, in which case, shots might be too much for him. For example, people who have severe peanut or bee sting allergies often can not even tolerate the small amount of the allergen in the shot. This can happen with environmental allergies as well. Me, for example, most of my allergies are environmental and I cannot handle shots, they make me sick. I took allergy drops since I was little (started in the late 80s). They are similar to the shots, but you take them as drops under the tongue. Absorbing it under the tongue is a direct route to the blood stream (like an injection), but you have less allergy reactive cells (mast cells) in your mouth so the chance of reaction to the drop is much less than injecting it directly in. These are recommended for extremely sensitive people and people who can't get shots for other reasons. Best parts, it's not painful like a shot and you take them at home and don't have to go in every week. There's different methods, the most common is SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy). However, even though the method has been around for years and years, it is still not FDA approved (mostly because there are so many different opinions on dosage) so most traditional allergists don't offer it and it is often not covered by insurance. The doctor I saw more recently was Dr. Garcia in Tampa, and my insurance did cover it, however, the SLIT method was different from what I did as a kid, and I was even too sensitive for that so I had to stop. But everyone is different. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has some good information and you can even search for members in your area and it lists what different treatment methods they use.

I know that Gainesville ENT and Allergy Associates offers the SLIT method if you are interested, but they do not bill insurance for SLIT. They also do traditional allergy treatments like shots, which are covered.

Sorry that was so long, but I hope I gave you some helpful info. Good luck! I hope you are able to find something that works for you and your son!
Thank you so much for the information. I will definitely be researching everything very carefully.

Well, we did go to the docs yesterday. They gave us Singulair, Allegra, and Patadol. We had our first night of uninterrupted sleep in a week. Usually he is a very good sleeper so getting up in the middle of the night has just worn me out. We are trying the singulair first to see if it works. So far the itchy, watery, red, puffy eyes are gone, and the stuffiness is pretty much gone too. I can't believe how much of a difference it has made in only two days of taking it. My poor baby finally has some relief. I will be watching him very carefully though in case of side effects.

Thank you all so much for your advice and sympathetic ear. It really means a lot to me and to little man. I hope you all are well. Happy Easter!


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