June 12, 2018

Ragweed and You

Welcome to ragweed season

September is here, and that means it’s ragweed season. The end of summer is already something every child dreads, but ragweed makes the back-to-school season a lot more difficult for some kids.

Ragweed is an allergen that affects loads of people, and the worst most don’t even realize they’re allergic to it and will usually see these allergy symptoms as a cold that their child picked up from other kids at school. It comes at a time of year when we’re so busy doing other things that allergies are the last thing on our mind. Ragweed, like a large number of other allergens, causes cold-like symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and irritated eyes that parents attribute to their child being surrounded by more kids.

How to know if ragweed affects your child

When determining if your child is allergic to ragweed, it’s always best to get an allergy test. But if your son or daughter seems to have a cold every time September rolls around, it’s safe to say that ragweed is a major suspect.

The unfortunate news about ragweed is that it’s going to be worse than usual in the coming years. Rising temperatures and carbon dioxide levels could extend the ragweed season by a month or two.

What can I do?

Luckily, there are a multitude of ways for you to reduce the amount of ragweed pollen that you or your family are exposed to.

  • Get in the habit of checking your local pollen count to understand when allergies may be worse than usual. High pollen count days should be treated with an antihistamine early and you may want to stay at home and watch a movie instead of going out to the park for the day.
  • A quick face wash and change of clothes is a life saver for allergy sufferers. A single ragweed plant alone can produce up to a billion pollen grains throughout its season. You don’t want that sticking on your skin and face.
  • A HEPA filter helps fight ragweed and other allergens by eliminating them from the air in your home.
  • Seek treatment through immunotherapy. Allergy drops build a long-term resistance to allergies that will treat the problem at its source.
  • Keep your windows closed, at home and in your car. The first little bit of fall weather we get can be really enticing to open up your windows in your home, but doing so will essentially be letting ragweed pollen flood into your home ensuring that your symptoms won't be getting any better.

The worse your allergies, the more of these steps you need to follow!