Spring is just around the corner and even though spring brings flowers and more time outside, it also means more pollen and bugs! Here are some practical ways you can prepare to keep you and your family healthy this spring!


Allergy season is knocking on the door. Maybe you or your kids are already showing signs of sniffly noses or watery eyes. There are many ways to be proactive about minimizing exposure to environmental allergens. First, if your family suffers from allergies, check the pollen levels in your area. (www.airnow.gov and www.pollen.com are useful sites). Be mindful of the fact that there will be higher levels of pollen when there is more of a breeze. So even though those breezy evening strolls or late night games sound nice, they can also result in more pollen distributed in the air and thus more symptoms.

So what can you do?

  1. Encourage hand washing and face washing (maybe even bathing) as soon as they get home. Microscopic pollen particles can be sitting on your child’s clothing, skin, eye lashes, etc. Removing clothes before they jump on the sofa or bed, will minimize the pollen inside your home.
  2. Begin Saline washes. Saline washes are a simple way to wash out the nasal cavities and decrease the effects of pollen. You can use Simple Saline or over the counter saline rinse, or the Neti Pot. (Please remember when using the Neti Pot it should never be tap water – always distilled or boiled water that has cooled to room temperature.
  3. Stock up on your allergy medications Don’t wait for symptoms before you stock up on your meds. For kids, Claritin and Zyrtec work great. Flonase is also now available over the counter as well.
  4. Shoes at the door- Just like shoes can bring in unwanted dirt and bacteria into your home, they can also bring in allergens as well. Best to leave them by the door.
  5. Air Filters – Choose air filters that are a. designated as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) b. CADR rated for smoke or states that the device will remove most particles in the size range below 1 um. (should be on the packaging or website). Place them in the rooms of your family members that suffer from more symptoms.
  6. Cleaning – Vacuum often, remove as much dust as possible and change sheets and bed covers weekly.
  7. Close Windows- Keep windows and doors closed, especially when pollen levels are high in your area.

Bug Bites

Spring and flowers also means more insects and ticks. Did you know that insects will be more drawn to your babies and kids because they usually have bright colors on and smell good? Remember when going outside, to wear long sleeves when possible, and skip the scented lotions or perfumes/colognes. Purchase over the counter bug repellants to use on especially buggy days or when traveling.

  1. Put sunscreen first and bug spray second. (Don’t buy combo products -sunscreen & bug spray)
  2. Apply bug spray to outside of clothes and exposed skin
  3. Don’t spray onto skin, rub it into your hands and then apply on your child’s skin
  4. Use light weight clothing that covers most of their skin to minimize the use of repellents.
  5. Choose DEET (works for ticks and biting insects-never use more than 30% DEET in kids), Picardin (works as well as DEET and has less toxicity concerns than DEET- My preference!), or natural bug sprays (Some essential oil sprays can help with mosquitos but they are not so great for other biting insects like ticks and some kids are allergic to the ingredients)

Sun Safety

Longer sunny days means more sun exposusre and the risk of sun burns. Babies are especially sensitive to sun burns.

  1. Stock up on your favorite sunscreens
  2. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outside and every 2 hours throughout the day.
  3. Choose zinc based blocks for babies and kids. They have less allergic reactions and are not chemical blocks. Instead, they work as barriers to the sun’s UV rays.

**Don’t forget this Sunday is Daylight Savings Time- We Spring Forward- lose an hour of our day but gain an hour more of sunshine in our days!

Swim Safety

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in kids under the age of 4. Drowning is also more common in minority groups. If you or your children don’t know how to swim, now is the time to start looking for swimming lessons. Ask neighbors and friends for reputable places in your area, check www.redcross.org, and/or visit local community pools to find out about lessons. Learning to swim can begin as early as 1 year according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. If you or your kids, don’t know how to swim, consider this your reminder to sign up for those lessons! Make summer safer for you and your family!


Some asthmatics suffer more symptoms during the Spring. Be prepared!

  1. Check your inhalers and make sure they are full and have refills.
  2. Check to make sure your inhalers are not expired
  3. If you use a spacer, make sure it’s in good condition. If not request a new one.
  4. There is currently a shortage of Flovent. If you use Flovent, check in with your doctor to send in scripts so that when available you are notified or make an appointment with your doctor to discuss alternatives.

Take a look at some of my favorite Amazon products for Spring. Amazon

I hope you have a happy and healthy spring! Thanks for being here! Please share with a friend or fellow parent. The more we share the more we learn and the less alone we feel.

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