Allergies can affect kids' grades
School nurses are sending home notes to parents that they are seeing more children with symptoms of allergies. For many students, they are more than just an irritant. Allergies can affect how well they do at school.
Researchers in the United Kingdom did a study published in 2007that showed that seasonal allergic rhinitis--a common allergy--affected performance on national exams of 1,834 students aged 15 to 17.
Kids taking exams given in winter, when seasonal allergies are less likely to be active, largely had scores at least one grade higher than when they took them in summer, a peak of the allergy season. Children who exhibited symptoms of allergic rhinitis were 40 percent more likely to have dropped at least a grade on the exams.
Meanwhile, a recent story in the Washington Post about allergies noted that this area ranks 43rd out of the 100 most challenging places to live with allergies, but that on some days in spring it has one of the highest pollen counts in the nation.
So if your child has symptoms--runny nose for no apparent reason, watery eyes, unexplained drowsiness, sore throat and cough that don't go away--allergies are likely the culprit. Don’t ignore it.
Here’s advice from one school nurse on what parents can do:
*Encourage your child to wash his/her hands and face immediately upon coming in from outside. This helps to remove pollen that may be transferred to his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.
*Encourage your child to shower or bathe and wash his or her hair each night. This prevents pollen from being transferred onto the pillow and then onto his or her face.
*Keep windows closed.
*Speak to your child’s physician about medications that might relieve your child’s symptoms. There are numerous medications on the market that do not cause drowsiness.
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| April 9, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories: Health | Tags: allergies, allergies and kids, allergies and school, health
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