Allergies, including food allergies as well as seasonal allergies, are common in children. The allergies may be present from birth, or develop as your child grows. Fortunately, there are many allergy medications formulated especially for children.
Older children can usually take the same prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications as adults. Options include Allergra, Claritin, Clarinex, and Zyrtec. Many of these medications are also used to treat younger children, but this should not be done without contacting your child’s pediatrician or allergist.
Allergy medication options are more limited for younger kids or infants. Still, there are options, including child-friendly syrup formulations of Clarinex, Allergra, and Zyrtec. These have been approved for children over the age of 6 months. Claritin, available as a syrup or a chewable tablet, is approved for children over two years. Kids over 6 can take the Claritin Reditab, a disintegrating pill that is a good option for kids who refuse to swallow pills. For children 6 to 14 years old,Singulair comes in a 5mg chewable tablet; those over 14 can take the regular-strength 10mg tablet. Older children from 6 to 11 years can also take Allegra, available in a 30mg tablet, or 60 to 180mg for children over 12.
Though these childrens’ allergy medications carry the same name as popular adult-strength allergy medications, it is important to seek out the children’s version in order to treat your child’s allergies, as the needed dose is based on age.
Other options for treating your child’s allergies include steroid nasal sprays such as Nasonex and Veramyst, approved for children over 2 years, or Flonase, which can be used in children over the age of 4.
Talk to your child’s doctor to determine the right prescription or over-the-counter allergy medication and dosage to treat your child’s symptoms.