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子供

幼児の花粉症の症状と3つの対策

子供

一日ごとに春らしくなっていくこの頃ですが、花粉症の方々にとっては憂鬱な季節です。
花粉症はいまや国民病、成人病の一種のように重大な病気のひとつですが、実は子どもでも罹ることをご存じでしたか?たしかに「子どものころから花粉症がひどくて」という人にはお目にかかったことはありませんし、何となく「大人になって突然発症するもの」というイメージがあります。

しかし子どもの罹患率は年々上がっており、花粉症の若年化を指摘する医師も多いそうなのです。風邪だと思っていたお子さんが、実は花粉症かもしれません。
花粉症への適切な治療と対策が必要です。
本記事では
1、なぜ花粉症になるのか? ~花粉症の原因~
2、子どもの花粉症の特徴 ~代表的な症状について~
3、どうすれば症状をやわらげることができるか?~3つの対策~
という流れでご案内いたします。

スポンサーリンク

花粉症の原因

子供

花粉症はアレルギーの一種です。そもそもアレルギーとは何でしょうか?

たとえば食物アレルギーや動物アレルギー、服の繊維の種類、石鹸やシャンプーなどが体質に合わないとき、「アレルギー症状がでた」ということがありますね。ほかにも苦手なものに直面したとき、「大嫌いな上司とエレベーターで二人きりになって、アレルギーが出ちゃった」などと半分冗談まじりに言うこともあります。

つまり、自分が苦手にしているものによって起こる拒否反応だととらえてみましょう。体内に何らかの異物が入ってきた場合、わたしたちのからだにはそれを排除しようとする機能が働き、「抗体」を作り出します。この流れがスムースに運ぶと「免疫」ができたことになり、悪くなると「アレルギー」となるのです。

体内に入ってきたスギ花粉やヒノキ花粉に対して、からだの免疫機能が過剰反応したときに、それが鼻水やくしゃみ、目のかゆみなどを引き起こします。

子どもの花粉症の特徴

鼻水やくしゃみ、目のかゆみといった症状は大人とあまり変わりません。ただ大人の花粉症の鼻水はサラサラしていますが、子どもの場合は少し粘り気があり、これも風邪だと思われやすい原因のひとつです。

子どもの花粉症をみつけるには、鼻水よりもまず鼻づまりに注意してみてください。ポイントは、「口をあけているか」。

鼻がつまっていたら口をあけて口から息をしますよね?お子さんが口で呼吸していたら、鼻がつまっている可能性があります。ほかにも鼻や目をこすったり掻いたりしていないかなども、大切なポイントです。花粉が飛ぶ季節が風邪やインフルエンザの流行期と重なることもあり、花粉症との認識がしにくいことも見極めがむずかしい原因になっています。

お子さんの様子を注意深くみつめ、いつもと変だなと思ったら、風邪だけでなく花粉症の可能性も考えて医師に相談し、適切なケアをしてあげてください。

本記事では大切なお子さんを花粉症から守ること、万一罹ってしまったときの対策をご紹介します。ポイントはわが子を愛情をもって注意深くみつめることにあります。

症状はほとんど同じ

これまで書いたように、大人と子どもで花粉症の症状にはほとんど違いがありません。違うのは、大人は自分の体調の変化や異変に気づいたとき、それを自分で周囲に訴えて、対策を講じることができるのに対し、とくに小さな子どもの場合、症状をことばにして大人に伝えられないことです。

いつも口をあけて、口で息をしていたり、鼻や目をしょっちゅういじったり、花粉症による睡眠不足のために昼間元気がなかったりなど、子どもはさまざまな症状で大人に「つらいよ」と訴えているのです。

いつにも増して、お子さんを注意深くみつめ、SOSのサインに気づいてあげてください。では子どもの花粉症の対策として、次の3つをご紹介します。

  • 花粉を避ける
  • 食生活に気を配る
  • 家族ぐるみの体制をつくる

花粉を避ける

まずはできるだけ花粉に接しないことが第一です。外遊びや外出の時間帯、その日の天候などに注意しましょう。

お出かけのときは、つばのある帽子をかぶせて花粉がかかるのを防ぎます。うちに戻ったら、玄関で服についた花粉をよく払い落とします。子どもが帽子を嫌がったり、服を払うのを面倒くさがるかもしれません。そんなときは「お母さん(お父さん)も帽子をかぶるよ」とか、「お父さん(お母さん)の服もきれいにしようね」など、家族ぜんいんの習慣にしてしまうのも効果的な方法です。

食生活に気を配る

小さな子どもは消化器官が未発達で、さまざまなことの影響を大人よりも強く受けてしまうことがあります。花粉症に限ったことではなく、胃腸に優しくバランスのとれた食生活は大切ですから、ぜひ考えてみてください。

野菜や魚を中心に、毎日お肉を食べるのは避けたほうがよいでしょう。油分も控えめにし、納豆や味噌、ヨーグルトなどの発酵食品を1日に1回は食べるようにします。

家族ぐるみの体制をつくる

これまでご紹介してきた「花粉を避ける」、「食生活に気を配る」は、子どもだけに向けたものではありません。先に大人が花粉症に罹った場合はもちろんのこと、いまは大丈夫でも、ある日突然家族の誰かに症状がでることもあります。

子どもが「ぼくだけ病気なんだ」とか「どうしてわたしばっかり我慢しなくちゃならないの」と自分を責めたり落ち込んだりしないよう、「家族みんなで気をつけようね」という一家のプロジェクトにしてしまいましょう。アレルギーには心のストレスも深く関わってきます。家族が心身健やかで明るく幸せであるためにも、家族ぐるみの体制づくりは重要です。

まとめ

花粉症は大人だけの病気ではなく、子どもにも罹る可能性が高いものです。

まだおしゃべりのできない小さな子どもは自分の体調をはっきりと訴えることができないので、大人がじゅうぶんに注意し、愛情をもって子どもをみつめ、適切にケアしてあげることが大切です。

最後にその3つをもう一度リストアップしておきますね。

  • 花粉を避ける
  • 食生活に気を配る
  • 家族ぐるみの体制をつくる

スポンサーリンク

Check Also

鼻水

寝起きの花粉症を和らげるために寝る前にやっておきたい4つのこと

寝起きから花粉症の症状がでてし …

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