Which allergy medicine for kids is best?
Most allergy medicines for kids are similar in effect to standard allergy medicines to the point where even adults can take them. The main differences are that allergy medicines for kids are available in lower dosages, are simpler to ingest and sometimes include more flavor options. However, not all kids can take the same allergy medications as adults because many have strict age requirements.
The best overall allergy medicine for kids is Amazon Basic Care Children’s All-Day Allergy. It is safe for children as young as 2 years old and covers all the standard symptoms. Additionally, it is easy to swallow and comes in two flavors.
What to know before you buy an allergy medicine for kids
Types of allergy medicine for kids
Allergy medicine for kids takes one of four forms: liquids, pills, sprays and drops.
- Liquid is the most popular form of allergy medicine for kids because it’s the easiest for them to take. It’s also easiest for a caretaker to precisely measure a dosage. Most liquid medicines for kids come in fun flavors.
- Pills are less popular for kids, mostly for how difficult kids find them to take. To get around this, many kids’ pills are either chewable, dissolvable or both. Some also have flavors to make it a little easier to swallow. For these reasons, pills are best as an on-the-go backup.
- Sprays focus on nasal symptoms rather than general-purpose like liquids and pills. If your child mostly has nasal issues, then sprays are a good choice. Otherwise, stick to liquids and pills.
- Drops also focus on specific symptoms, and in this case, those symptoms are eye-based. These are the least popular for kids and adults due to the unpleasantness of dropping liquid directly into the eye. That said, their relief of itchy, watery and red eyes can’t be beaten.
Antihistamines vs. decongestants
Allergy medicines for kids are either antihistamines, decongestants or both.
- Antihistamines block histamines, which are compounds your body produces to fight allergens, causing allergy symptoms. They tackle allergy symptoms as a whole and are the most common medicine.
- Decongestants reduce tissue swelling, especially in the nose. Most nasal sprays are decongestants for this reason.
Allergy medicines for kids typically have two age cutoffs: 2 years old and 6 years old. Most medicines are intended for kids who are at least 6 years old, and only a few over-the-counter options are safe for 2-year-olds. If you have a baby that needs relief, you’ll need a prescription from your pediatrician.
What to look for in a quality allergy medicine for kids
Kids don’t like medicine, so it’s crucial to try and pick one that has a long enough duration that they don’t need to take it more than once or twice a day. Most medicines have durations of four, six, eight, 12 or 24 hours.
Allergy medicines for kids are always flavored to make the experience of taking them less uncomfortable. The most common flavors are grape and bubblegum with citrus and cherry just behind them.
How much you can expect to spend on allergy medicine for kids
Most options cost $5-$15. Extra-large packages are usually available for high upfront costs but lower per-dose costs.
Allergy medicine for kids FAQ
Will allergy medicine for kids interfere with any other medication they may be taking?
A. It’s always possible that one medication may interact with another, whether one of them is an allergy medicine or not. If your child is on a prescription or regularly takes another over-the-counter medication, check with your pediatrician before starting them on allergy medications.
I gave my child allergy medicine but it doesn’t seem to be working. What should I do?
A. Wait. All allergy medications need time to take effect, no matter what type. Most will have minor effects within an hour with stronger and longer-lasting effects occurring a few hours later. Regular doses over several days will also lead to stronger effects. Some types, especially nasal sprays, require several doses over several days before noticeable improvement is made.
What’s the best allergy medicine for kids to buy?
Top allergy medicine for kids
Amazon Basic Care Children’s All-Day Allergy
What you need to know: It’s easily swallowed and affordable.
What you’ll love: It works for 24 hours after ingestion and tackles all the basic allergy symptoms, including runny noses and watery eyes. It contains no sugars or dyes and comes in grape or bubblegum flavors. It is safe for kids ages 2 years old and up and can also be taken safely by an adult.
What you should consider: Some consumers had issues with the drowsiness side effect lasting for the entire day. Some children won’t want to take either flavor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top allergy medicine for kids for the money
Benadryl Children’s Allergy Liquid
What you need to know: This small bottle is perfect for occasional relief.
What you’ll love: Relief lasts for up to six hours per dose and covers all the common allergy symptoms. It doesn’t contain dyes, alcohol or any kind of sugar. It’s available individually or in a pack of six.
What you should consider: You need to have your doctor’s approval to give it to children younger than 6 years old. There aren’t many doses in each bottle.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Zyrtec Children’s 24-Hour Dissolving Allergy Tablets
What you need to know: These tablets are a good choice for traveling.
What you’ll love: Each tablet covers all the basic allergy symptoms for up to 24 hours. The tablets also dissolve quickly in the mouth, so your child doesn’t need to chew or swallow. They are flavored with orange, lime and lemon. Adults can also take it.
What you should consider: It’s not safe to give to children under 6 years old. Some children experience upset stomachs, bloating and drowsiness.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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