Expert’s 9 Top Tips to Help Parents Cope with Children’s Hay Fever this Summer

Many children experience hay fever symptoms because of their allergies to grass pollen. For most children the worst months of the year are May to July when grass pollen release is at its peak. The amount of pollen in the air affects their reaction at a particular time and varies according to weather conditions. Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg offers his advice to parents with children suffering with hay fever this summer.

“95% of people who get hay fever are allergic to grass pollen,” says Max. “Hay fever is the result of our immune system’s overreaction to innocuous particles such as pollen. The body’s reaction is to produce histamines. Normal amounts of histamines are good – they keep us alert, attentive and awake. But, when there are too many, they produce symptoms including sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, watery eyes, streaming eyes, swollen eyes, and an itchy nose and throat.”

“So what can parents do to help their children manage hay fever symptoms? Quite a lot, fortunately. Here are my 9 Top Tips:”

  1. Make HayMax Kids part of their daytime and bedtime routine. In independent studies [1] HayMax has been shown to trap over a third of the pollen before it gets into the body: less pollen, less reaction. Apply immediately after washing/showering first thing in the morning and before going to bed. HayMax is small, so it’s easy for children to put in their trays, pencil cases and schoolbags. Most schools are also OK with kids taking a pot in with them, as it is drug-free.
  2. Take your child to the GP, to get a proper diagnosis. If the symptoms occur only in summer on warm, sunny days, it’s almost certainly hay fever. Although, it could be any number of other allergies and treatment might differ in each case. They can also prescribe medication suitable for your child’s age.”
  3. Change children’s clothes daily and after they’ve been playing outside. This will help reduce the amount of pollen on the clothes they are wearing. Dry their clothes indoors so pollen is not blown on to them by the outside wind.”
  4. Wash your child’s face and hair after periods spent outdoors. Pollen sticks to clothing, skin and hair, so symptoms can continue even when indoors. Washing or showering will remove any pollen remaining on their skin and hair.”
  5. Encourage your child to wear wraparound sunglasses and a cap or hat. This creates a protective layer between their eyes and the pollen-laden atmosphere and can reduce symptoms considerably. It also relaxes their eyes, which relaxes them. A hat, cap or other head cover will help keep pollen out of their hair.”
  6. Wash children’s bedding frequently. Pollen grains come indoors borne on the air and stick to bedding. That’s why frequent washing of bedding, covering the bed with a sheet – which is carefully folded and stored away from the bed during the night, before they get into bed – and turning pillows just before they are tucked in, can all help reduce symptoms.”
  7. Limit their exposure to pollen during peak periods. Pollen is released early in the morning and travels upwards as the air warms up. In the evening, as the air cools, it moves back down again. Symptoms are usually worst during the early morning and evening, when the pollen grains reach nose height, so try to keep children indoors at these times if possible.”
  8. Check the pollen count forecast. The pollen count measures the amount of pollen in the air and is the number of pollen grains per cubic metre of air. Pollen count forecasts can help you judge if your child’s hay fever symptoms will be particularly severe on any given day. As a general guide, the pollen count tends to be lower on rainy days and higher when it’s hot and sunny. Many hay fever sufferers start to experience symptoms when the count reaches ‘medium’. Counts will be higher near to large sources of grass pollen including hay meadows.”
  9. Check out the Allergy Guides on my website. There are many other treatments and remedies available for hay fever sufferers and simple lifestyle changes and practical things you can do to help reduce the effects. Check out my website for more help and advice.”


[1] Chief Investigator: Professor Roy Kennedy, Principal Investigator: Louise Robertson, Researcher: Dr Mary Lewis, National Pollen & Aerobiology Research Unit, 1st February 2012.