Nasal (nose) allergies, skin eczema and asthma in children are often linked due to exposure to allergens that trigger off these conditions. So, it’s not uncommon for a child to have, for example, a nose allergy and asthma at the same time.
1 / 10 The allergic triad – nose allergy, skin eczema and asthmaLoad more
2 / 10 Sinus infection versus nasal allergyLoad more
Here’s how to tell: nose discharge arising from a nasal allergy is clear, which may be accompanied with sneezing and itchy eyes and fever is usually absent.
On the other hand, the nasal discharge is often coloured yellow or green when a bacterial or viral sinus infection sets in. Fever may sometimes be present too.
3 / 10 Minimise or avoid exposure to allergensLoad more
Minimise exposing your child to potential outdoor triggers (pollen, mould, haze particles) and indoor triggers (dust mites, pet dander) to prevent the condition from flaring up.
For children aged seven and up, N95 masks are available in varying sizes for protection against outdoor pollutants during hazy conditions.
4 / 10 Take control of symptomsLoad more
Typical symptoms of nasal allergies include watery, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, and red, itchy eyes.
Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and decongestant nasal drops can be obtained at pharmacies to control these symptoms.
Check with your pharmacist for more information on selecting the most suitable product for your child.
5 / 10 Nasal saline (salt) washes can help ease symptomsLoad more
Hypertonic saline nasal rinses containing a high concentrations of salt solution (more than 0.9 per cent are a natural method to clear a blocked nose and open the nasal passage.
Isotonic rinses containing 0.9 per cent salt solution can be used to moisten the nasal passages as well as remove nasal secretions and dried mucus.
6 / 10 Reduce allergens at homeLoad more
Wash your child’s sheets and pillow cases at least once a week, comforters and toys at least once a month, preferably at temperatures of 60 degrees or higher, to kill dust mites.
Ensure proper ventilation of the house by keeping the windows open.
Do not allow your pet to enter your child’s bedroom at all times.
Remove carpeting from the bedroom if possible and vacuum the floor regularly.
7 / 10 Keep your child's skin moisturisedLoad more
If your child has eczema, select cleansing products and moisturisers that are free of irritants (parabens, perfumes and surfactants) and gentle on the skin.
Use them daily to keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
Related: Child eczema: ways to manage it
8 / 10 Banish that itchLoad more
To soothe your child’s itchy skin, start off with steroid-free products such as coal tar ointments, which can be obtained over-the-counter from pharmacies.
Oral antihistamines such as cetirizine and loratadine may be taken if the itch is more severe.
10 / 10 When to consult a doctorLoad more
Kids with allergies may find that their condition improves over time. In some cases, they may outgrow the condition completely when they reach the teenage years.
If your child’s symptoms become bothersome and persistent despite self-management and affect his daily activities of the child – he can’t sleep or concentrate in school – consult a pecialist for further evaluation and treatment options such as immunotherapy for allergy desensitisation and if appropriate, nasal surgery.
Always consult your paediatrician or family doctor if you have questions.