Eating Healthy at the Minnesota State Fair

Are you and your family headed to the great Minnesota State Fair? While we love the food at the fair, not all of it is nutritious. We’ve created a map to show you some healthier options to keep in mind while you are enjoying your time with loved ones.

Keep in mind the different colors of the stars on the map, representing different types of yummy, healthy food you can find. We hope you enjoy your time at the great Minnesota get together!

Red Star: FRUIT | Blue Star: Sandwiches | Yellow Star: Meat | Black Star: Healthy Items on a Stick | Green Star: Vegetables

Seasonal Allergies & Your Child

nurse with coughing childAs spring finally settles in around us, so does allergy season. Up to 40 percent of children in the United Status suffer from seasonal allergies. If you and/or your partner have allergies, this increases the chance that your child has allergies too. Seasonal allergies are annoying, yet relatively harmless. But when do they stop being harmless? We’ve put together some tips on when you should take your child to an allergist or when it might be more than just allergies.


Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are allergy symptoms that occur during particular times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants. When your child is allergic to mold spores or pollen, their immune system treats these allergens as an attack. Their immune system then releases chemicals, including histamine, as a defense which causes allergy symptoms, from itchy eyes to a runny nose.

Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, even if your child hasn’t had allergies in the past. Usually, they develop by the time your child is 10 and reach their peak in their early twenties.



If you notice your child experiences cold like symptoms around the same time every year, it could be seasonal allergies. These symptoms, which usually appear suddenly and last as long as a person is exposed to a particular allergen, can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose and/or throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Clear, runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Itchy, watery eyes


When To See A Doctor

Most seasonal allergies can be treated with child-specific, over-the-counter antihistamine or allergy medications. However, if your child starts wheezing, struggles to catch their breath or they frequently feel a tightness in their chest, that could be a sign that the allergies have progressed into asthma, and you should make an appointment to see your pediatric provider right away. Other signs that indicate its time to take your child to your pediatric provider:

  • If your child is experiencing chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion or difficulty breathing.
  • If your child’s symptoms seem to pop up over many different months out of the year
  • If antihistamines and over-the-counter medications do not have any affect on your child’s symptoms.
  • If allergies or asthma seem to be preventing your child from doing normal, every day activities.

Before your visit with your pediatric provider, be sure to take note of when your child’s symptoms are most prevalent: are they outside or inside? Is it day or night? Look for any patterns—the repetitiveness is the biggest indicator that the symptoms your child may be experiencing are linked to allergies, seasonal or otherwise. Most importantly, a fever is never associated with allergies and is usually a sign of something more serious. With this information, your pediatric provider can better determine if a referral to an allergist is necessary.

Hopefully these tips will help you feel more at ease about seasonal allergies, but you should never hesitate calling or scheduling an appointment with your pediatric provider if you’re concerned with new symptoms your child is experiencing.

A Quick Guide to Keeping Holiday Allergies in Check

The holidays are a time for fun festive gatherings and spending time with those you love most. But unfortunately, it’s also the season for heightened allergies. Instead of suffering – or watching your child suffer – from these seasonal allergies, there are several things you can do to avoid or reduce the impact of allergy symptoms.

holiday allergies

Causes of Holiday Allergies

Holiday Food – During the holidays, we’re surrounding by food, and in many cases, food that we did not prepare ourselves. This can lead to accidently ingesting ingredients that we are allergic to. This is especially true for children, so it is important that you pay attention to what your child eats.

Decorations – Wreaths, trees, and other holiday greenery is beautiful, festive, and a breeding ground for mold spores.

Pets – Your furry friend is part of the family too, and during this time of the year pets are often indoors more, which means more prevalent pet dander.

These factors, combined with the fact that there is less ventilation and increased furnace use can make for an uncomfortable environment for allergy sufferers.


How to Avoid/Control Symptoms

Food – Because food allergies can be extremely dangerous, it is important to know what you or your child is eating. Ask friends and family for a rundown of ingredients for dishes you are unfamiliar with, and always carry an Epi-pen if anyone in your family has a severe food allergy.

Decorations – Want to avoid the mold and mildew associated with live greenery? Artificial trees and other decorations provide an attractive and simple alternative.

Pets – To help reduce pet dander you should wash your pet before guests arrive, but the most effective way to ensure that you and your family aren’t suffering due to Fido? Wash your hands and face frequently, and have your children do the same.


When to See a Doctor

If you’ve followed the tips above, and aren’t really sure what’s causing you or your child’s symptoms; it may be time to see an allergist. By doing so you can get specific information about ways to manage these allergies or avoid them all together.