(NC)-Did you know that more than 20 percent of school-age children suffer from allergies. A condition that, if not diagnosed properly, can interfere with a child’s ability to concentrate.

In fact, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, allergies account for 2 million missed school days each year, and on any given day more than 10,000 children are absent from school due to troublesome allergy symptoms. In Canada, this represents approximately 200,000 missed school days and more than 1,000 children missing school on any given day because of allergies. Allergies can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life.

Fortunately, the allergy experts at Claritin, the leader in the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergies, have developed appropriate information to help parents determine whether a child suffers from allergies.

For instance, if one parent has allergies, chances are one in three that a child will have an allergy, and if both parents have allergies the chance jumps to seven in 10.

By providing parents with the appropriate information, they will be better equipped to consult with their healthcare provider and set up an appropriate system to help avoid a child’s allergy triggers.

It can be hard for parents to distinguish between colds and allergies without help because many symptoms of each are similar.

The casual misdiagnosis that “it’s just a cold” can result in unnecessary suffering for the child with allergies. Here are some common allergy symptoms parents should look for:

A runny or stuffy nose and constant sneezing

Breathing through the mouth or snoring, due to a stuffy nose

Itchy nose, eyes, or skin

Rubbing the nose upward with the palm of the hand (also known as the “allergy salute”)

Watery eyes or dark circles under the eyes

Headaches, earaches, or hearing problems

Changes in behavior; children may be irritable or hyperactive

Once a physician has determined that a child has allergies, parents should know there are treatment options available to ease the symptoms including avoidance of allergy triggers, allergy shots, and/or medications. One medication, in particular, Claritin Syrup is learning-friendly for children. It is the only non-sedating antihistamine for children to treat both seasonal and year-round allergies without causing drowsiness.

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