Back to School Protection from Allergies
After over a year of homeschooling and blended learning, your little ones are surely excited at the prospect of going back to school for F2F (face-to-face) classes. They will be able to see their friends and do fun school activities. But F2F also poses a problem – allergies.
Allergens your kid might come across in school
Going back to school means braving pollen – in the fields, the playgrounds and elsewhere around the school.
Pollen is among the most common causes of seasonal allergies .1 A lot of people refer to pollen allergy as hay fever , but experts usually call it “seasonal allergic rhinitis ”1 Trees, grasses and weeds typically distribute pollen, which travels through the wind.1
A study found that of total airborne pollen in Manila, 87% was drawn during the months of November to May, the dry season.2 Meanwhile, its concentration increased during March to May, the summer months2.
In F2F settings, there is a lot of cleaning activity, not just by kids, but by staff. This includes sweeping, mopping, or dusting in the classroom. Cleaning stirs up dust particles in the air, which is then inhaled by people3.
Chalk is used to write on the blackboard in F2F classes — it’s affordable, and easy to use and erase. However, milk allergic children, when exposed to chalk, may experience symptoms of chalk exposure, according to one study.4 One study noted that school-age children who had positive skin test outcome to chalk had improved symptoms after avoiding chalk while at school.4
Typical food allergens include:5
- Shellfish: Ex. crabs, shrimps, mussels, clams
- Dairy: Ex. milk, cheese
- Spices: Ex. sesame, black pepper, cumin, cayenne
Any of these can easily be an ingredient of a food your child might unknowingly eat at the school cafeteria.
How to protect your child6
The most effective way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens. But as this is a challenge in the F2F situation, parents have to do the next best thing.
Get a Medical Bracelet6
This simple bracelet contains information about your child’s allergies. This is useful for your child to wear so others may be alerted if your child displays serious allergy symptoms.
Teach your kids to recognize allergy symptoms7
Knowing when they are having an allergic reaction can be lifesaving. Teach your kids what symptoms to watch for. These include7:
- Swollen lips, eyes, tongue
- Itching, hives
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Hoarse voice, congestion, or trouble swallowing
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Dizziness, fainting
- Mood changes, confusion7
Before attending F2F classes, review with your child what foods or things they are allergic to, and which ones are safe to eat. Teach them proper handwashing before and after eating and playing outdoors. Remind your child not to accept food from others and not to eat if they don’t know that it’s safe. Consider packing food prepared at home for your child to eat at school.8
Tell the Authorities8
Coordinate with your child’s teachers, fellow parents, and the school clinic about your child’s allergies.
Pack Anti-Allergy Medication6
Make sure to pack anti-allergy medicine like Children's Loratadine (Claritin®️) Syrup and ensure that your kids take those medicines as necessary.
If they are at risk for life-threatening reactions ( anaphylaxis ), it is best to seek immediate medical attention.
Children's Loratadine (Claritin®️) Syrup relieves allergy symptoms, such as runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, nose or skin.9
It works in as fast as 15 minutes10, lasts up to 24 hours11 and is non-drowsy vs. cetirizine and first-generation antihistamines11,12. This makes it a good fit for kids attending F2F classes.
Attending F2F classes is an exciting time for your kids. However, allergens are unavoidable in other environments and school is no exception.
But there are ways to manage the risks. This involves knowing what possible allergens your kids may encounter in school and taking steps to protect them. An important part of this is teaching your child how to spot symptoms of an allergy. Another is having the right medicine with them, like Children's Loratadine (Claritin®️) Syrup. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
ASC Ref. No. B0076P040323C
- Pollen Allergy , https://www.aafa.org/pollen-allergy/. Accessed 27 Oct 2022
- Sabit M, Ramos JDA, Alejandro GJD, et. al. (2015). Seasonal distribution of airborne pollen in Manila, Philippines and the effect of meteorological factors to its daily concentration. Aerobiologia, Dec; 32(3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10453-015-9414-2. Accessed 27 Oct 2022.
- Dust Allergies, https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/dust-allergies/. Accessed 28 Sept 2022
- Larramendi, CH, Marco, FM, Llombart M, et. al. (2013). Allergenicity of casein containing chalk in milk allergic schoolchildren. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, May;110(5):335-9. 10.1016/j.anai.2013.02.006. Accessed 28 Sept 2022
- Caution: Food Allergy!, https://nnc.gov.ph/regional-offices/mindanao/region-x-northern-mindanao/8314-caution-food-allergy. Accessed 28 Sept 2022
- Preventing Allergic Reactions and Controlling Allergies,
- Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs,https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/foodallergies/pdf/nutrition_professionals_final_508tagged.pdf. Accessed 28 Sept 2022
- Going to School With Food Allergies, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/school-foodallergy.html. Accessed 28 Sept 2022
- Loratadine (Oral Route), https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/loratadine-oral-route/precautions/drg-20523204?p=1#:~:text=Loratadine%20is%20used%20to%20treat,Tablet%2C%20Chewable. Accessed 28 Sept 2022
- Sur, Denise K C, and Monica L Plesa. “Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis .” American family physician vol. 92,11 (2015): 985-92.
- Haria, Malini, et al. “Loratadine.” Drugs, vol. 48, no. 4, 1994, pp. 617–637., https://doi.org/10.2165/00003495-199448040-00009.
- Kawauchi, H.; Yanai, K.; Wang, D.-Y.; Itahashi, K.; Okubo, K. Antihistamines for Allergic Rhinitis Treatment from the Viewpoint of Nonsedative Properties. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 213. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010213.