Last month, Claritin came to me and asked whether I had any experience with allergies in my family. Only a year ago, I would have had to say no; but last spring everything changed.
I never had allergies as a child. I actually remember being relieved at a very young age because I grew up watching my mother experience some pretty tough allergies. As soon as spring hit, she was coughing and sneezing, and her eyes were constantly watering. It was awful.
Being a mother of 4 boys, I’m always on guard for “something.” Last March, out of nowhere, my 2 middle sons – Alexander and Benjamin started experiencing some cold and asthma symptoms. Alexander was 3 at the time, Benjamin was 2. I immediately just thought it was asthma. My younger sister had asthma. My Nana had asthma her whole life. And seeing them coughing, sneezing and breathing through their mouths, I just “knew”… I had seen this before. As a mom, it scared me because I remember my sister having limitations as a child. She couldn’t run without coughing. She couldn’t dance and jump and play tag without stopping to catch her breath or cough. It always made me feel so bad for her. My Nana… well, she had severe asthma her whole entire life. Even the last years of her life, walking down the driveway was too much for her. These things flashed through my mind last spring…
It all started with a bad “cold.” Change of season. Weather was warm, then cold… then really hot. Benjamin’s cough was bad. Alexander’s was worse. It would really come and go… it wasn’t continuous. They also would be sneezing left and right. I remember dusting the house from top to bottom thinking maybe it help. It didn’t. At night, it was always the worst, always. We’d put them to bed and we’d just hear this coughing and sneezing. I hated it. That’s when I (yes… I) diagnosed it for asthma. I knew for sure that’s what it had to be. Why else would they be hacking? I knew they weren’t sick. I knew asthma ran in the family. And I knew I needed to get to the bottom of it.
I brought Ben and Alex to our family physician last year, mid-March. After checking them out, he told me something that surprised me… “It’s not asthma, they have allergies.” He went on to tell me that he sees this a lot with kids (and adults) in the springtime. The symptoms are usually always the same – they seem to either have a cold that doesn’t go away or they’re breathing through their mouths or it’s coughing spells or their eyes are continuously watering. I was relieved to know it wasn’t asthma… but then, I remember immediately thinking… “What can they take?” He said, “Claritin.” (Which I thought was only for adults.) My sons went on Claritin last March and stayed on it till about June. This year we were prepared… just like I know the winter will bring the cold, I knew spring would bring allergies. I bought Claritin again, so when the symptoms hit, we would be ready. It’s been a lifesaver for us.
I wanted to share our story because I know it’s something that moms need to share and should be sharing. I literally never thought in a zillion years that allergies were the cause of my sons being sick last year… but I’m so glad I got to the bottom of it. Once we got it under control, they were back to “normal” in a flash. It was that remarkable.
On the Claritin website, they have an amazing area for Kids & Allergies. Within that page is a section called, “The ABC’s of Allergies,” it’s incredibly helpful for parents to visit this section because it outlines what you can be looking for in your kids to see if they’re experiencing allergy symptoms. If I had checked this section out before… seeing that the Mouth Breathing is a huge sign would have been the immediate red flag for me.
There’s also an Allergy Profiler button that you can play with. It asks you a bunch of questions about your child and where you’re from and what symptoms your child experiences. It then profiles your area and what usually causes allergy symptoms. This is what the profile was for my sons:
Northeast. Rhode Island. Beginning in Feb and lasting until June, several types of trees in this region produce allergy-causing pollen, particularly birch, maple, box elder, oak, juniper/cedar and pine trees.
By visiting the ABC’s of Allergy badges, you can get a $3 coupon off Children’s Claritin.
Definitely take some time this spring to check out Claritin if you think your child is an allergy sufferer. It truly has helped my family out immensely!
*Thanks to the makers of Claritin for sponsoring Mom Generations’ allergy post.