Does my baby have hay fever? Top tips for dealing with seasonal allergies

Published on
Toddler sitting in the grass

The days are becoming brighter, the weather is warming up. Summer is just around the corner, bringing with it promises of picnics at the park and long days playing with the kids in the garden.  

But for allergy sufferers, the sunnier months can be no picnic. Spending more time outdoors means we breathe in airborne tree, flower, grass and weed pollen, which can increase the chances of allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hayfever.  

One in 4 people in the UK are allergic to pollen and, according to Allergy UK, hay fever affects 10 –15% of children. While some people believe that it doesn’t occur in infancy, Patient Info UK confirms that babies can get hay fever. However research on hay fever in this age group is limited, which can lead to symptoms being ignored or mistaken for a cold or teething.   

 Mother holding their child

Know the symptoms  

Just like with adults, the common symptoms associated with hay fever are an itchy nose and throat, red eyes, watery discharge from the nose and/or eyes, a blocked nose and sneezing. If you suffer from hay fever, you’ll know it can impact sleep and this is also true in babies – leaving them irritable and distressed in the daytime. If you think your baby has hay fever, don’t try to diagnose it yourself. Take your baby to your GP who will be able to confirm if your suspicions are correct.  

Kids lying in the grass

Does hay fever only occur in summer?  

Both babies and adults can be allergic to just one type of pollen (such as grass), or they might have an allergic reaction to several pollen types. This could mean they show symptoms of hay fever from spring through until autumn. 

According to the Met Office: Tree pollen occurs first, typically from late March to mid-May, and affects around 25% of people. Most people are allergic to grass pollen (which actually has two peaks) and the season lasts from mid-May until July. Weed pollen can be released at any time but the season typically covers the end of June to September. However, dependent upon where you live in the UK, the hay fever season will start at different times. 

Little girl outside

What treatments are available?  

When it comes to treatment, the first port of call should always be your GP. However there are a few things you can do at home to minimise your baby or toddler’s symptoms.  

- Keep your eye on the weather forecasts for the pollen count. If pollen counts are high, keep your little one indoors as much as possible.  

- If you are outside on the days that the pollen count is high, give your baby or toddler a bath or a shower afterwards to wash away the pollen. Pollen grains tend to stick to the skin and hair. 

- Don’t dry clothing or bedding outdoors on high pollen days. 

- Keep your tot inside while grass is being mown. 

- Keep windows shut especially in the morning and early evening (when the pollens are released). You could even apply this to keeping car windows shut if you are driving in the countryside.  

- Babies can wear sunglasses from 6 months old. If you can get them to keep them on, encourage them to do so. Not only do they act as a shield to the pollen, they can prevent your child from rubbing their eyes.  

There’s currently no cure for seasonal allergies. Some children may outgrow hay fever, but others could have it throughout their life. However, with the right treatment and a few lifestyle adaptations, it’s possible to manage symptoms so that summer can be as fun for hay fever sufferers as it is for everyone else.  

Discover Pura
Make a change your baby would be proud of

Explore what makes our range of wipes, nappies and nappy pants so eco-awesome and find the perfect subscription to suit your lifestyle (and your baby’s bottom).