Allergy Medicine for an Almost 4 Year Old?

Updated on September 12, 2011
S.R. asks from Clinton, MO
16 answers

We are not a family that takes a lot of medicines, I can only remember a handful of times I have even given our son Motrin (I'm not a fan of tylenol.) We recently saw an Allergist at Children's for some testing, and she suggested he start taking a chewable Claritin everyday. That was almost a full month ago, and I have not bought any yet. After really observing him the last month I do agree that he needs something. I am just worried about side effects like being groggy, out of it, sleepy, or just not being himself.

His allergist seemed to think taking some allergy medicine would help him sleep better. I really don't know how that would work, but she seemed certain of it. He doesn't have the "typical" symptoms, like a runny nose, or watery eyes. I think that is why I am so up in the air about it still. He does have terrible problems with his sinuses though, and constant sinus infections starting at 1 year old (which he has had to have antibiotics for,) and the dark allergy bags under his eyes. He is a mouth breather, which causes him to snore so he doesn't sleep well. I guess she might be right about it helping his sleep. I have never given him Benadryl either. What do you all think? What would you do?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers


answers from Toledo on

My DD started off with Claritin and she was not moody or tired. Have you had her tested for specific allergies that trigger her? If you wait too long and dont do it then it could lead to asthmatic issues as well.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My daughter had trouble sleeping and breathing at night and snored horribly. Doctor told us to give her Nasonex and Claritin at night before bed. So we used the Claritin reditabs, they melt on the tongue, and it did help her sleep and breathe better along with the Nasonex. We didn't notice any side effects either but were concerned with giving this to her for years. They debated on whether she had allergies and/or asthma but her tonsils were extremely large as well so we had them removed this summer and have quit the Nasonex and Claritin all together now and she is doing great.

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

I like Claritin.
Each allergy med, has different traits about it.
Zyrtec, for people I know who had taken it, it made them moody and tired.
There is also Allegra.

Claritin, DOES NOT make one drowsy. It is simply an antihistamine.
Benadryl, WILL make a child drowsy. It says so on the label.

NOT all antihistamines or allergy meds, causes drowsiness. So ask the Ped for one that does NOT cause, drowsiness.

Allergies and runny/stuffy nose, would keep anyone awake and then they have a bad sleep. Adults or children.

Sinus problems, are really irritating and can be painful.
My Husband has sinus problems. If it is not controlled, then you can get INFECTIONS of the sinus cavity.
Which my husband has also gotten.
He can't sleep either, when his sinus is bothering him.
He has allergies too.
He takes Claritin.

Sinus infections... can take a LONG LONG time to go away. Completely. Especially if you do not do anything about it.
It also causes PAIN... headaches, of the eyes/under the eyes etc.
Your son, already has dark circles under his eyes from it.
This is not good.

I recommend you have him take, a medicine.
Not doing anything, will NOT make it go away, and it will get worse.
Allergies and Sinus infections.... compounds.

Allergy meds will help him sleep better, BECAUSE, it will get rid of his symptoms and it is an antihistamine.

For his Sinus INFECTION... sometimes even a antibiotic has to be used. If it is bad.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You could look into some non-medicinal solutions like putting a dust mite cover on his mattress, washing his sheets and clothes in anti-allergen detergent, putting an air cleaner in his room or finding out what he's allergic to and eliminating it.

He could have a candida overgrowth from the antibiotics at a young age.

Also, Bromelain and Quercetin are two natural antihistamines that work for us. They are supplements, not medicine.

We've had good luck with alkaline water in reducing allergies (read up on histamines. It's released when your body is dehydrated even slightly. By hydrating your body you can help curb allergies--it worked for us because we have less allergies when we drink alkaline water and more when we stop drinking it for a while). Also Master Mineral Solution, also known as MMS.

You don't HAVE to drug your child. We all have allergies here and take NO drugs for them. Doctors will always prescribe drugs. Remember, there are alternatives.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I have allergy induced sinus probland was on two different allergy medicines without much help. My doctor recommended Allergy Easy, which is an exposure regimen along the same premise as allergy shots, but these are liquid drops you take daily under the tongue at home. There are no weekly appointments necessary, no pain, they're approved for children and so easy I was able to continue on my honeymoon. I went from chronic sinus infections to once a year and no more daily medication. If you're leary of medicating your son, but want to help relieve his allergies, I would ask your doctor about Allergy Easy. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Both of my boys (5 and 3) have seasonal allergies and they are taking the generic liquid Claritin when we need it, and it hasn't caused any issues with sleepiness or attitude. We try to limit the amount of medications we give, but having the allergy medicines is quite helpful and allows them to sleep much better, too. Good luck with your decision!



answers from Kansas City on

We avoid putting kids on Meds of any kind. If it is seasonal allergies, try some LOCAL raw honey! We all had horrible allergies last year, until I started giving us a couple if teaspoons every morning. It's worth a try. Please note: the stuff in the grocery store won't cut it. Try to get honey from as close to you as possible (farmers markets are a great place to start.). Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I would get a SinuCleanse Kid's Mist for him. Start doing a saline wash with him twice a day, in the am and pm. It will help. Google sinus wash and you'll find lots of endorsements for using this ancient hygiene technique. If you can teach him to use a neti pot, all the better.



answers from Kansas City on

We give my kids (almost 4 and almost 2) Zyrtec. I've never used Claritin but the Zyrtec works for them, especially if they have a runny nose, allergy induced cough, etc. Sometimes we use Benadryl, but not often and only a little bit. It does make them a little bit sleepy and a little bit groggy in the morning, but not bad. I think trying it is worth it, it might bring some relief. Worst case scenario you stop giving it to him and try something else. Good luck!


answers from Dover on

My daughter has been getting sinus infections since she was 3.5 years old (over a year now). She had been on Claritan for months (wasn't strong enough for her) and after allergy testing she is now on Clarinex and Singulair (much better but still not 100%).

Claritan had no negative effects. It does not cause drowsiness at all.

Benadryl may work but it does cause drowsiness.

Allergies can cause both the infections and mouth breathing and Claritan should help (it does help some but not all).



answers from Chicago on

My kids have taken the Children's Chewable Claritin and did not have any problem with it. I think my daughter needs to start again since she is complaining of itchy nose and eyes and feeling stuffy sometimes. Benedryl never did anything for them and never made them drowsy.



answers from Tallahassee on

Just an FYI - Benadryl will not make ALL children drowsy. It has the opposite effect on some kids.

We thought my daughter had allergies last year, when she was 4, and the nurse at the doctor's office told me to start giving her half a dose of Benadryl as needed (only half a dose since it's not recommended for kids under 6). We only used it one time. Benadryl made her super hyper. She was bouncing off the walls and wouldn't listen to anything. We also tried Zyrtec and saw a noticable, and negative, change in her attitude and behavior and she had trouble sleeping while she was on it.



answers from St. Louis on

He sounds like my daughter, a mouth breather! Drives me crazy. Her allergy doctor prescribe a nasal spray that i give every night when allergies are bad or every other night. It has help alot, no more snoring or breathing threw her mouth at night. During the day I give walgreens generic of zyrtec. I use to give name brand until it was recalled. I only give her the allergy medicine in the morning when I know pollen, mold or ect is gonna be high and i know shes gonna be outside alot. At her last allergy dr visit a few months ago the dr advise to try allegra but it didnt give her as much relief as the generic zyrtec. He also advised us not to use claritin because of the side effects on children. With the benadryl it didnt help as much either. If your son really needs it try it for at least a few days to see how he reacts to it. If nothing helps see another allergist for a second opinion. good luck



answers from St. Louis on

As someone who has lived with terrible allergies and sinus infections, I believe medication can make a world of difference and enhance quality of life. I have had 3 sinus surgeries to clear terrible infections caused by allergic inflammation in my sinus cavities.

Unfortunately, my son has inherited my allergies, and since he started taking Alegra, he is a much happier boy. He did not have "typical" symptoms either, but now he's not sleep deprived and miserable. He focuses better at preschool and actually enjoys life again. I don't understand why a mother would want their child to suffer when there was something out there that could make him feel better.



answers from St. Louis on

You can also just try a 1/2 dose to start with, it could just be enough to help. Local honey does help with pollen allergies.



answers from New York on

Hi there,
I hear you about the desire not to medicate. My almost 4 year old daughter has a history of intermittent wheezing (usually virally induced) and nut allergies. About one year ago I noticed that she seemed to have seasonal allergies (dark under eyes, slight non-productive cough, increased wheezing) and started giving her Claritin through Fall season mostly. No apparent side effects. I elected to give it to her in the morning after noticing that it did not make her drowsy (she is in daycare and outside mostly during the day, so I wanted the protection to be maximum then). This spring, she started snoring like a drunk frat boy and had a lot of nasal congestion. After much hemming and hawing (sp?) and trying non-steroidal/natural options, we elected to use Flonase, which worked like a miracle (she went from waking up 40 times per night to once per night ). I used that until the pollen count went down but realize that she may go back to using again in the fall. I also switched to using Zyrtec with her b/c the doctor informed us that she might benefit from Zyrtec's "increased anti-histamine capabilities". I can't say that I noticed much of a difference vs. Claritin, but am thankful that I haven't noticed any side effects either. In any case, you'll decide what's best for your little one. I just wanted to lend my support.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions