Spring Allergies Alerts for Students—and You

Vol. 2 No. 7

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Springtime for much of the U.S. means allergy sufferers are already feeling their seasonal pains. For adults, it’s likely that they’re aware of their symptoms and know how to treat themselves. Children, however, may not have shown signs of allergies before. Teachers and administrators should know what signs to look for.

Here are a few common symptoms of seasonal allergies to remind faculty and fellow staff members of as spring pops up in your area.

  • Rash—hives or swelling
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Complaints of itchiness in the throat
  • Sinus pressure, sinus headaches

If any of these symptoms suddenly appear in one of your students, you should take notice what it was following. Was the reaction after lunch or a snack time? Was it after coming in from the playground? Was there something outside that the child was playing with such as a certain tree or around a particular flower bed? Was the child playing with birds outdoors or indoors? Was the reaction after playing with something indoors or in a certain room in your facility?

You’ll also want to take notice of how many children are showing signs of symptoms after certain activities. Sometimes rooms can be affected by molds or histoplasma capsulatum, a fungus often associated with pigeons and certain other wild birds. Rooms that contain allergy triggers often affect more than one person even if only a few are known to have allergies.

Food allergies can be especially dangerous—even for a first-time reaction. If a reaction follows a snack or lunch, then you’ll need to notify the parents what the child was eating. Typically allergies worsen with each exposure, but food allergies can be extremely dangerous right from the start. The most common food allergies seem to be peanuts, followed by seafood. Schools have made policies banning peanuts and foods containing peanuts from campus, but even with a policy in place, accidents can happen.

What’s important is that everyone on your faculty and staff know what signs to look for, and be able to act as quickly as possible when symptoms appear.

Additional ISM articles of interest
ISM Monthly Update for Admission Officers Vol. 9 No. 7 Combating Spring Allergies
ISM Monthly Update for School Heads Vol. 10 No. 7 Handling the Needs of a Student With Life-Threatening Allergies
ISM Monthly Update for Division Heads Vol. 7 No. 5 Got a Handle on Peanut Allergies? What About Glutens?
Private School News Vol. 8 No. 5 Do You Need a 504 Plan for a Food Allergy?
Private School News Vol. 9 No. 4 Insect Bites That Do More Than Sting

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