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Question: My 11 year old son has started sneezing and his eyes are very irritated. Should we give him an antihistamine or should we have him checked first?

DR.PAUL:The summer allergy season usually starts in April when trees start to pollinate, and depending on the allergy, lasts until the fall. Grass allergy usually peaks in the summer months (June/July) and ragweed starts in mid August until October. The symptoms are varied, but are usually nasal: itchy or congested or runny nose, itchy throat and itchy and or runny eyes. If this is the first time this has happened, it should be checked out to confirm the diagnosis. If the diagnosis is confirmed, then some of the over the counter medications may help. Discuss this with your doctor. In general though, it is important to keep windows closed in the morning as the pollen level is the highest at this time. This is when we tend to open the window to bring in fresh air, unfortunately for the allergy sufferer this makes things worse. An air conditioner helps as this ensures that the windows are closed. Also, yes, children can get summer or seasonal allergies too.

Click here for more information on seasonal allergies.

Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child's physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.

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