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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Attacking Allergens: Spotlight on Pollen

As a Children's Claritin Mom Crew Member I received samples of product,
but was not compensated for my thoughts or personal opinions.
My oldest son has suffered from allergies, since he was two. From skin irritation to puffy eyes, we have always sought to "hide," from Spring allergies, but they always seem to find my little guy. I wanted to share the following information, from Claritin about pollen and all the fun things that come along with the Spring fresh air. Wishing each of you relief, and crossing my fingers that your little ones have a mild allergy season, as we count down to Summer.

Attacking Allergens: Spotlight on Pollen

Just like personalities and preferences, sensitivity to allergens tend to differ from child to child. Since the moms in our group have kids that may react to different types of allergens, we're continuing with our series on some of the most common culprits. Let's take a closer look at the allergen that's most synonymous with Spring- pollen- with this excerpt from Airborne Allergens: Something in the Air by NIAID Health Info.

Pollen Allergy
Each spring, summer, and fall, tiny pollen grains are released from trees, weeds, and grasses. These grains hitch rides on currents of air. Although the mission of pollen is to fertilize parts of other plants, many never reach their targets. Instead, pollen enters human noses and throats, triggering a type of seasonal allergic rhinitis called pollen allergy. Many people know this as hay fever.

Of all the things that can cause an allergy, pollen is one of the most common.

What is Pollen?
Plants produce tiny—too tiny to see with the naked eye—round or oval pollen grains to reproduce. In some species, the plant uses the pollen from its own flowers to fertilize itself. Other types must be cross-pollinated. Cross-pollination means that for fertilization to take place and seeds to form, pollen must be transferred from the flower of one plant to that of another of the same species. Insects do this job for certain flowering plants, while other plants rely on wind for transport.

The types of pollen that most commonly cause allergic reactions are produced by the plain-looking plants (trees, grasses, and weeds) that do not have showy flowers. These plants make small, light, dry pollen grains that are custom-made for wind transport.

The type of allergens in the pollen is the main factor that determines whether the pollen is likely to cause hay fever. For example, pine tree pollen is produced in large amounts by a common tree, which would make it a good candidate for causing allergy. It is, however, a relatively rare cause of allergy because the type of allergens in pine pollen appear to make it less allergenic. Among North American plants, weeds are the most prolific producers of allergenic pollen. Ragweed is the major culprit, but other important sources are sagebrush, redroot, pigweed, lamb's quarters, Russian thistle (tumbleweed), and English plantain.

Spring Cleaning Checklist
Allergies aren't the only thing we're attacking this season- clutter is high on our list! In addition to the usual suggestions, we've added in some spring cleaning suggestions that can help families of allergy sufferers. Click here to download our "Free to Be Fresh, 24 Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers" Cheat Sheet!

*As a Children's Claritin Mom Crew Member I received samples of product, but was not compensated for my thoughts or personal opinions.

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