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Seasonal

The grasses are coming

When my son started playing baseball, we realized how truly allergic to grass he was. After practices and games he would have horrible sneezing, runny nose, itchy/watery eyes and his skin would break out in rashes. A lot of people don’t understand the effects that grass allergies can have.

What should I know about grass allergies?

Summer is the time that grasses decide to release most of their pollen. Activities like mowing lawns, driving around with the windows down and running through the park spread it further.

The amount of grass we see popping up in the summer is dependent on the amount of rain that we see in the spring. With the crazy amount of rain we saw this year, grass will definitely be blooming.

What is unique to grass compared to other pollen like cedar and mulberry is that we are in constant contact with it. We sit in it, roll around in it, and pretty much any fun summer day involves being around grass. Being close and touching grass is something that leads to reactions on our skin. Nasty rashes are not uncommon, especially with children.

How can I avoid these grass allergies?

  • Before: Take an antihistamine prior to going outside during the summer. This will stop you or your child's allergies from getting out of hand while you’re outside.
  • During: Protect yourself from grass pollen when directly interacting with it. Whenever you’re doing any gardening or mowing, cover your nose and mouth with a mask. I know this sounds silly, and may make you feel like you’re trying to avoid Swine Flu, but it will stop you from breathing pollen directly into your body. If you don’t want to wear a medical mask around the yard, you can always don the classic cowboy look by putting a bandanna over your face.
  • After: A quick clean off after you come inside can do wonders by getting all that gunk off your face. With children this could be a challenge to get them to do, but you can achieve this by using a damp wash cloth on their cheeks and fingertips. If you’re lucky maybe you can get them to pop on a new shirt.

Summer is a time for us and our kids to be outside enjoying our beautiful state. Don’t let your allergies get in the way of your summer fun!

Nikki Wade, APRN, FNP-C

Nikki Wade graduated from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with a Master's of Science in Nursing in 2013. She is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Prior to graduate school she completed her BSN at UTEP in 2009, and her Associates Degree at Midland College in 2000. Prior to joining Aspire she worked in Family practice. Her nursing experience is vast and includes labor and delivery, school nursing, home health, and plastic surgery. After battling with allergies and sinus disease herself and her children having allergies and asthma she is excited to have the opportunity to help others with these struggles.

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