Medical Support – Pollen Allergies and Hay Fever

The nursing team at LIS/LIK consists of two nurses who work in collaboration with, and as part of, the Student Support Services Department. The nursing team works in partnership with the school to create a safe and healthy environment for all, providing both health care and health education using best practice and up-to-date guidance from government health authorities. The fundamental role of the nursing team is to improve children and young people’s health and well-being.

We are located on the ground floor in the LIS building next to the Primary Principal’s office. We provide care and support at both LIS and LIK sites, throughout the school day.

Advice for Parents

The arrival of spring can be a joyful time, but for many it also unfortunately means the beginning of the allergy season. This can be a difficult time for those who suffer with pollen allergies and hay fever. It involves a lot of sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes. 

Most pollen allergies are caused by the pollen from early-flowering trees (such as hazel, alder, and birch), grasses, weeds and mold spores.

When a person develops a seasonal allergy, their immune system acts as if the substance is harmful to the body causing an inflammatory reaction. This causes symptoms such as:

  • Stuffy nose, runny nose or sneezing
  • Itchy or red eyes
  • Sore throat, or itchy throat or ears
  • Waking up at night or trouble sleeping, which can lead to feeling tired or having trouble concentrating during the day
  • Bronchial asthma in severe cases

To diagnose a pollen allergy, your doctor may carry out skin tests, or a blood test, in which specific antibodies can be detected.

If your child has a history of seasonal allergies, they may need to start an antihistamine medication to relieve their symptoms. If your child needs medication at school (including eye drops), please bring the medication in to the school health office. Older students may carry and administer their own eye drops with parental permission.

Treating Seasonal Allergies:  

1. Allergy Avoidance
The avoidance of pollen is the safest method for treating hay fever. This can be difficult, however, because the wind can blow pollen through the air for miles.

More tips for everyday life that you can implement yourself are listed below.

2. Specific Immunotherapy (Hyposensitization)
Specific immunotherapy is the only treatment that addresses the cause of allergies. Classically, this involves the allergy sufferer being exposed to the respective allergen in gradually increasing doses in order to reduce sensitivity to the allergy trigger.

3. Medications

Antihistamine (anti-allergic) medications are used to relieve symptoms of hay fever. For stronger allergic reactions, anti-inflammatory steroid preparations (e.g. as a nasal spray) can be used. Many oral antihistamines may be most helpful when taken preventatively (before symptoms develop) and can be obtained without a prescription.  Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the best treatments for you and your child.

4. Complementary Therapies
Regular rinsing of the nose with isotonic salt solution can be helpful in reducing symptoms and the need for anti-allergic drugs. Homeopathic treatments are also available.

Talk with your child’s medical provider about the benefits and downsides of the different treatments. The right treatment for your child will depend on their specific symptoms.

CAN SEASONAL ALLERGY SYMPTOMS BE PREVENTED? — Yes. If your child gets symptoms at the same time every year, talk with your medical provider. Some people can prevent symptoms by starting their medicine early.

You can also help prevent symptoms by avoiding pollen. For example, you can:

  • Shower before bed. Before going to bed, take off your outside clothes, shower and wash your hair, in order to wash out any adhering pollen.
  • Clean your home. Vacuum regularly to remove fine dust and allergenic particles from the home. Wash bedding weekly in hot water.
  • Minimize exposure. Avoid outside activities when pollen counts are highest, usually in the morning.
  • Close windows. Keep windows closed when pollen counts are highest. This includes car windows as well.
  • Nose and eye protection. Wearing sunglasses and using regular nose rinses to rinse pollen away can help. Avoid rubbing the eyes. If itching is bothersome, use a cool compress or eye drops.
  • Practise pet control. Pets can bring pollen and allergens on their fur inside after being outdoors. Try to keep pets off furniture and out of bedrooms. After cuddling with your pets, wash hands and face.

More information can be found on the DAAD (Deutsche Allergie- und Asthmabund) website, or on

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