You may know and love Orlando for many things: Disney, Universal, Sea World (OK, I’m a theme park girl!). I know there are other wonderful things to enjoy in and around our city, from Lake Eola to Leu Gardens, and from visiting Wekiwa Springs to watching rocket launches at Cape Canaveral. Orlando is still a top travel destination, even after a global pandemic. But you may NOT know that we’re also a top allergy destination. Ugh. Pollen.
Orlando is a GREAT city for fun … but also for spring allergies, too.
Literally, just yesterday Orlando made the list of the top 5 worst cities for allergies (the others were Tampa, FL; Prescott, AZ; Yuma, AZ and Las Vegas, NV). So maybe let’s go to Miami to weather this out? lol
Allergy season is just not fun. And apparently, after the pandemic in 2020 (the year we all want to pinpoint as The Worst), spring allergy season didn’t want to just daintily pass us by. No. Spring allergies decided to BRING IT in 2021.
The 7 (allergy) dwarves
If you (or anyone in your family) have been feeling like the 7 dwarves: Sniffly, Sneezy, Coughy, Congesty, Grumpy, Itchy and Mopey, there’s a chance that you’re dealing with Spring Allergies.
Of course, since the pandemic isn’t quite over yet, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doc. Medical professionals can help us figure out if it’s a common cold, allergies, the flu, or (hopefully not) Covid.
How many doctor’s visits do we need?
Just this past week, my daughter got the sniffles and kept sneezing one night after dinner. I figured she was probably fine, but the next morning she complained of a sore throat. Just to be safe, we took her to the pediatrician. Everything looked fine, so they sent us home.
A couple of days later, we were back at the doctor’s office. She had a cough that WOULD. NOT. STOP. I had picked her up after gymnastics practice and for the 30 minute drive home, she coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed, and I considered pulling over at an Urgent Care. But she insisted that she was feeling fine. She just couldn’t stop coughing!
Mind you, I’m not your average, run of the mill, paranoid mom who always thinks something is wrong with my child. My daughter carries an Epipen for serious food allergies to dairy, peanuts & tree nuts that she’s had since she was 11 months old. So any allergy symptoms commonly throw me into a “ARE YOU ALRIGHT, BABY?” semi-panic mode.
But mom, I’m FINE.
My now 11 year old daughter kept reassuring me, “No, mom, I’m FINE.” (Insert side eye roll.) So we continued the drive home, gave her allergy meds, cough syrup, etc. … and I called the nurse hotline.
This whole time, she had no fever, no aches, no pains, nothing else was wrong. She was fine. Her appetite was great. It was just a dry cough.
The nurse said to try Benadryl right before bed. But if she continued coughing, we should go to the Emergency Room. I prayed and, thank God, the coughing stopped and we didn’t have to go. But I did go into her room to check on her … just to make sure she was OK. (Not being paranoid, just checking.)
I figured, if spring allergies REALLY were this bad here in Central Florida, we probably weren’t the only ones dealing with this. So here are a few tips that have been helping us manage this crazy season (that we all hope is over ASAP!).
7 Tips to help you keep your sanity during spring allergy season in Central Florida
Check in with your doctor or a walk-in clinic.
- Don’t just assume it’s “nothing.” Our doctor ran a Covid test, probably because the worst symptom was a cough. We went back to the pediatrician’s office when my daughter didn’t get better and called a nurse one night when those spring allergy symptoms didn’t improve. Call it “overkill” if you want, but I’d rather play it safe.
Take the meds
- If you go to the doctor and get anything prescribed, take it – especially with spring allergies. I’ve heard that if you know a pollen you’re allergic to is expected to be high, go ahead and take the allergy medication preventatively. But don’t just take my advice; always check with your doctor.
Drink the water, but make it fun!
- Pick the most fun water bottle you have (maybe the one you got at one of our awesome theme parks!) … or a favorite sippy cup or tumbler. Try ice water or room temperature and see which one soothes best. Stay hydrated! Soon spring allergy season will be over and we’ll have practiced drinking more water, which is always a good thing. This will help us fight dehydration during the sweaty summer months ahead.
Try local honey (for kids ages 2 and older)
- Local honey is the jam for allergy season. Thankfully, we already had some in the pantry. If not, try to get some at a farmer’s market if you can. It can help soothe a sore throat and should help some with coughing as well, but only if your baby is at least 2 years old or older.
Make some tea
- If you already love hot tea, make some & enjoy it! My daughter is not a fan, but we still made up two cups and sat together, sipping it carefully while watching Netflix.
- We kept our daughter home to rest, especially on the days when the cough was pretty much non-stop. Thankfully, she had her school laptop and felt well enough to log in and participate virtually.
Try a humidifier.
- We didn’t use one this time around, but we have always had a humidifier from when my oldest was a baby and dealt with croup and seasonal allergies as well. It seems that he’s thankfully outgrown them now that he’s in his teens. Yay!
Do you have any favorite tips or tricks to help beat spring allergy season? I didn’t include these on the list, but vacuuming and washing all the bedding & towels in hot water helps get rid of allergens, too. Please share your tips in the comments. And I hope you and your littles feel better soon!