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My toddler has unfortunately inherited my bad allergies - this means that at night when the two of us are in bed, lots of phlegm will build up in the back of his throat, causing him to cough himself awake. And while I can't say what he feels exactly, the way he rubs his nose repeatedly and makes uncomfortable noises with his tongue, along with a lack of any high temperature that would indicate a fever, very strongly indicates to me irritated allergies.

I would like to help him - preferably with preventative measures if possible.

I know that full allergy medicine is not advisable for children, but since he is almost 2 years old (11 days away~!) we have been giving him 5 ml of children's benadryl a night to help - and last night when he woke up from the discomfort my wife and I gave him some children's nasal drops, which seemed to help. I'm not sure if installing the humidifier would help, but I am willing to try.

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    If his allergies are bad enough to need treatment, in order to help him, you need to find out what he's allergic to. I hope it's not dust, because that's a hard one to eliminate. A pediatric allergist can do skin or blood testing; both are reliable. If you're not ready to go that route yet, talk to your doctor about treating allergies with medications. In the meantime, take the usually recommended precautions, like changing bed linens often, launder your pillows (yep, I wrote that!), etc. And wow, time really flies!!! Congrats on making it this far. :) Aug 24, 2023 at 0:08
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    @anongoodnurse It very well could be dust, but my suspicion is grass or pine since it just started getting rough recently for both him and me. I'll definitely be bringing it up at his 2-year check-up, if not sooner.
    – Zibbobz
    Aug 24, 2023 at 12:55
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    Is this only happening at night? Because an allergy to pollen or grass usually gives symptoms when exposed, not much later when not in the environment anymore. Has his bedtime routine or diet changed recently, or anything about his room? (new pillow, curtains, …?)
    – AsheraH
    Sep 6, 2023 at 19:42

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I've been thinking about this a bit. If it's grass/tree pollen, there are a few other measures to mitigate the severity of his (and your) symptoms. Some of these are easier than others. I'll presume you go out more than your son, and you may be bringing the pollen in.

Easier:

  • Whatever has been outside gets removed and cleaned (shoes off, wiped down, wipe down hair/beard, change your clothes, etc.).
  • If you dry your clothes on a line, shift to a dryer until that pollen goes down.
  • Keep doors and windows closed.
  • If you've been out, wash your hair before your head hits the pillow.
  • Check your local forecast and pollen count every day, and plan activities accordingly.
  • As I mentioned in the comment, launder your bed things (even the pillows) often.

Harder:

  • Don't go outside when the pollen count is very high, but if you do, wear an N95 mask, especially when it's windy.
  • If you have a dog or cat that goes outside, rub them down with a damp towel on reentering the house.
  • Find out which is/are your pollen allergies, and look for patterns. Most pollens are worse in the morning and on windy days, so pick your time outside thoughtfully.
  • If your son is playing in the grass, have him play on a blanket on the ground instead. It's not as much fun, but it decreases his exposure. Bring things to him (leaves, twigs, insects) instead of him crawling or toddling to them. (He might be too old for this to work.)
  • If you have a furnace or HVAC system, make sure your air filters are fine enough for allergies and asthma.
  • Think about a portable HEPA air filter for your home.
  • Try to vacuum with a vacuum using a HEPA filter.

Grass Pollen Allergy

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