Theo is allergic to grass, which has to be one of the universe’s crueler jokes. Try telling a three-year-old boy that wrestling, rolling and somersaulting in the grass is off-limits. But the reality is, if grass touches his eyes, you can see them start swelling; it’s that immediate.
The good news is, after a rough allergy season start where Theo’s itchy left eye was swollen shut and oozing, we’ve come up with a few ways to keep them from swelling out of control.
Now for ten tips.
1. Stay off the grass!
Theo is almost 4 so he vaguely understands that grass=itching, which leads to swelling and pain so I remind constantly to not to roll around IN the grass. He’s allowed to step ON grass if needed but he just can’t cover himself in it.
2. Take part in pollen-free outdoor activities
I’m not caging Theo up in the house for all of May as there are plenty of grass-free outdoor options: beaches, ocean boardwalks, playgrounds (if you can keep them in the actual playground), hiking, cycling, chalking the walk and even amusement parks, to name a few.
3. Play indoors
Sometimes when the pollen count is high, we have to head inside: Science World, The Aquarium, open gym, the library and swimming pools are all great options for kids with grass allergies. These spaces also tend to be quieter when the weather is good.
4. Strip down!
After any outdoor activity, he is required to take off all his clothes and change pronto. Those clothes go right into the wash and I throw him in the shower.
5. Rinse those eyes!
Theo has completed his eye rinse training, and is fast approaching master status. He’ll run his eyes under the tap when needed and rinse them in the bath or shower at night. Luckily for us, he finds this activity hilarious.
6. Use eye drops
Eye drops really work. Theo doesn’t like them because they sting but if the itch can’t be tamed through rinsing, eye drops are a must.
7. Break out the antihistamines when needed
Theo is already on a steroid puffer for asthma so I’m not keen to have him on too many drugs. I only use Benadryl at night if he’s very stuffed up. If it’s mainly eyes, I stick to eye drops.
8. Wear sunglasses
I can’t get Theo to wear sunglasses but if I could, I would.
9. Drink water
Drink as much water/juice as possible to flush the histamines from the body. I have no idea if this actually works but I do it anyway.
10. Tell everyone
Make sure everyone knows that your kid needs to stay out of the grass. It’s not foolproof and, of course, it’s not anyone else’s responsibility, but it does help.
Bonus -> Play this over and over again and laugh.