I want to share with my readers an experience about allergies in children and maybe it not only applies to your children, but maybe to you. My son has a history of spring allergies since he was 2 or so and Zyrtec-D was used to manage them for 5 or so years and then they seemed to just go away. Well, they are back but they are no longer spring allergies. Saturday he was suddenly sniffly and whiny as only a teenage boy accustomed to feeling healthy can. I gave him an Allegra which has been our daytime "allergy cure all" as needed. He complained bitterly hours later that nothing worked and was sneezing out a fur ball again. The Allegra is a 12 hour dose so I made him wait the appropriate time and promptly forgot.
A side note about the offending allergen. He had spent the night at a friend's house who has a cat, so I suspected his mild allergy had been violently shoved into a true allergy. But that being the allergen could mean the reaction would subside now that he was away from the cat, ergo the forgetting.
Sunday morning was harsh. He hadn't slept and was CRANKY. I gave him liquid Benadryl thinking this would allow him to clear up and function. The liquid one is supposed to be the non-drowsy formula. Note: IT'S NOT! He did not wake up until almost 2:30 in the afternoon. I administered another Allegra thinking this could easily be just left over from the interaction with the cat. Monday, I treated it with Allegra as needed. Then today, Tuesday he was a gut-wrenching, fur ball hacking, stopped up, runny nose, sneezy mess. In passing, my cousin told me it's ragweed season and it is high right now. I spoke with my mother within five minutes of that conversation and she is or was also allergic to ragweed. Fortunately, my younger cousin is also allergic to many things and takes Zyrtec. That reminded me that my son took Zyrtec when he was little and it worked wonderfully. I practically ran to Walgreens for Zyrtec-D.
I am delighted to report that within an hour of him taking the one 12 hour tablet (with Gatorade, yogurt and chicken broth/noodle soup - homemade, no preservatives), he was wandering the halls again!
My message... know what's in your family, know what works for your kids and be prepared for "childhood" illnesses to rear their ugly heads at random, unspecified times.
11/9/11 Editor's Note: This article is repeated in the health blog.