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Avoid Allergens in Spring Season

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The rejuvenating power of spring is well known. When the weather warms up, adults and children alike typically take full advantage, soaking up some sun and shaking off the cobwebs of another long winter.

But as fun as spending time outdoors can be each spring, lurking allergens can quickly ruin a picnic or trip to the park. Sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throats, and runny noses are often unwelcome guests during spring. This emphasizes the importance of limiting exposure to allergens like pollen as much as possible to ensure you and your family get the most out of the spring season.

Though allergists recommend avoiding the outdoors during the peak of the allergy season, parents know it's hard to keep kids from enjoying the great outdoors when the weather finally warms up. To minimize exposure to common allergens, consider the following tips.

* Know the pollen counts and limit outdoor activities during times when the pollen count is highest. In general, the pollen count is at its highest at specific times depending on the season. In spring, for example, tree pollens make their presence felt most strongly during morning hours, whereas allergens such as ragweed tend to do their damage in the middle of the day during the fall season. Daily pollen counts are often documented in the local newspaper or on local news broadcasts. Familiarize yourself with these and use them to your advantage.

* Don't use clotheslines. Clotheslines are popular in the suburbs during spring time, and they can be more environmentally friendly. However, hanging clothes or bedding on clotheslines can invite pollen to attach itself to such items, which can bring allergens into the home.

* Close the windows when pollen counts are high. Home and car windows don't have to be up all the time to avoid exposure to allergens. However, when pollen forecasts are predicting higher pollen counts, it's best to close the windows in both the car and home. To put this in perspective, if you own a dark-colored automobile, closely examine it on a day when the pollen count is high. You're likely to notice that it's covered in a yellow dust. That's pollen, and that thick coating is a testament to just how pervasive pollen can be on days when the pollen count is especially high. While it's nice to let the warm air in during spring, you could be letting in a whole lot more than that if you're not paying attention to the daily pollen predictions.

* Consider bathing before going to sleep at night. One of the worst things about allergy season is how invasive allergens can negatively effect our daily lives including our sleeping habits. Bathing before bedtime can help wash off a day's worth of allergens, and make it easier to enjoy a good night's sleep in the process.

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