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  1. #2 Pencils
  2. Notebooks
  3. School Uniform
  4. Allergy Medicine...

Wait – allergy medicine? That's right. Adequately treating your child's allergies may be just as important to ensuring their academic success as new school supplies. Allergies affect the whole body, not just the nose. In a recent survey conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, 94 % of the respondents stated that their allergy symptoms affected their quality of life, including their performance and school and work. Allergy symptoms often lead to difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and daytime drowsiness, all of which may make it difficult for your child to perform well in school. Children dealing with untreated allergy symptoms, such as runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing often find it difficult to concentrate and may have behavioral problems such as increased irritability or hyperactivity. Your child's allergies may also affect activities outside of the classroom, diminishing activity, interest, and performance in extracurricular activities such as sports.

Many children with allergies also have asthma which, if untreated, may also affect performance in school and leisure activities. Like the nasal symptoms of allergies, the shortness of breath, wheezing and nighttime cough associated with asthma can impair sleep leading to fatigue and decreased concentration. Asthma attacks may also impair athletic performance and the fear of having an attack is enough to discourage some children from even attempting participation.

The good news is that help is available. Many treatments are available for allergy and asthma symptoms, freeing your child to excel both in and out of the classroom. Unlike many older medications which have a high incidence of sedation, current regimens will allow your to be awake and alert during the day and sleep well and night. Irritability may decrease when the child is no longer suffering from constant running nose, sneezing or stuffiness, and involvement in extracurricular activities may be easier when they can breathe freely. Immunotherapy treatments (i.e. allergy shots) are also available and treat the underlying allergy process, potentially making it possible to be symptom free with minimal or no medications.

Remember, a child who does not feel well may not learn well. If your child has allergies or asthma, make sure they are getting all the tools needed for academic success. In addition to pencils, pens, and notebooks, allergy and asthma treatment may be just the thing.

Note: Information contained in this article should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a board-certified allergist to address individual medical needs.

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