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Allergic rhinitis - what to ask your doctor - child


Allergies to pollen, dust mites, and animal dander are also called allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is another word often used for this problem. Symptoms are usually a watery, runny nose and itching in your eyes and nose.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your child's health care provider to help you take care of your child's allergies.

Alternate Names:

What to ask your doctor about allergic rhinitis - child; Hay fever - what to ask your doctor - child; Allergies - what to ask your doctor - child


What is my child allergic to? Will my child's symptoms be worse inside or outside? At what time of year will my child's symptoms feel worse?

Does my child need allergy tests? Does my child need allergy shots?

What sort of changes should I make around the home?

  • Can we have a pet? In the house or outside? How about in the bedroom?
  • Is it ok for anyone to smoke in the house? How about if my child is not in the house at the time?
  • Is it ok for me to clean and vacuum when my child is in the house?
  • Is it ok to have carpets in the house? What type of furniture is best to have?
  • How do I get rid of dust and mold in the house? Do I need to cover my child's bed or pillows?
  • Can my child have stuffed animals?
  • How do I know if I have cockroaches? How do I get rid of them?
  • Can I have a fire in my fireplace or wood burning stove?

Is my child taking their allergy medicines the right way?

  • What drugs should my child be taking every day?
  • Which drugs should my child take when their allergy symptoms get worse? Is it ok to use these drugs every day?
  • Can I buy these medicines at the store myself, or do I need a prescription?
  • What are the side effects of these medicines? For what side effects should I call the doctor?
  • How will I know when my child's inhaler is getting empty? Is my child using the inhaler the right way? Is it safe for my child to be using an inhaler with corticosteroids in it? What are the long-term side effects?

Will my child have wheezing or asthma?

What shots or vaccinations does my child need?

How do I find out when smog or pollution is worse in our area?

What does my child's school or daycare need to know about allergies? How do I make sure my child can use the medicines at school?

Are there times when my child should avoid being outside?

Does my child need tests or treatments for allergies? What should I do when I know my child will be around something that makes their allergy symptoms worse?


Baroody FM, Naclerio RM. Allergy and immunology of the upper airway. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2015:chap 38.

Milgrom H, Leung DYM. Allergic rhinitis. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Gemelll JW, Schor NF, Behrman RE, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 137.

Review Date: 2/5/2015
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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