Sponsored: Antihistamines, hay fever and transition to secondary school

Posted: 19th April 2024

Allergies and exam season

I was really shocked to find out that teenagers who have hay fever are 50% more likely to drop a grade in their GCSEs if they have bad symptoms. Poor quality sleep and the inability to concentrate are just some of the reasons and it’s why managing hay fever well is so important according to Professor Nick Makwana, a Paediatric Consultant based in Birmingham. If you want to know more about supporting your pupils with hay fever then do sign up for our Q&A with Prof Makwana next week, the details are below.

This event is timed to coincide with the start of Allergy Awareness Week which runs from the 22-28th April. Please take this opportunity to speak to your school community about food allergy and to explore the resources on our website.

If you’re a school nurse who has asked about which antihistamine to use for allergies, read on…and this newsletter also has information about a special event for pupils in Year 5-7 about managing the transition to secondary school or senior school with allergies.



Question of the month: antihistamines

One of the questions we often get asked by school medical teams is which antihistamine is best to treat allergies, and whether a dose can be given to a pupil having a mild to moderate allergic reaction even if they have been given their regular pre-emptive dose earlier in the day. We asked Dr Deb Marriage from Bristol Children’s Hospital to clarify.


Dr Marriage told us: “It’s completely fine to have extra doses of antihistamine if needed and it doesn’t matter if the child has had antihistamine already that morning. Antihistamines are safe medicines and we often prescribe up to four times the licensed dose for children and young people with certain conditions. We recommend cetirizine for food allergic reactions as it is fast acting, of long duration and non-sedating. We don’t recommend the use of Piriton*. Some other antihistamines may be used for hay fever or allergic rhinitis (such as Fexodenadine or Loratadine) but these are of slower onset so are not ideal for food allergic reactions.”


*Cetirizine is not suitable for children under 1 year old. Infants under 1 year may be prescribed Piriton (Chlorphenamine)



Want more support like this?

We hold online drop in sessions for staff whose schools are Members of The Allergy Team – the next one is on Thursday 2nd May 12-1pm. If you would like your school to become a Member of The Allergy Team by joining the Schools Allergy Register, please book a call. We’ve had so much interest and know that lots of schools are keen to get on the list before September, so please get the ball-rolling now!




Fantastic feedback

Firstly, I hope you don’t mind me sharing some fantastic feedback we received from the Bursar of Pinewood School in Wiltshire following our recent visit to carry out an Allergy Review. Here’s an exerpt:

“The Allergy Team’s Allergy Review exceeded our expectations in every aspect.  From the outset, their engagement was exceptional and most professional, covering all areas of school life with thoroughness and expertise. Following their onsite visit, the information provided in both the letter and the detailed report were of excellent quality.”

Simon Mason, Bursar

If you’d like The Allergy Team to visit your school to carry out an Allergy Review, please speak to us to find out more, Like Pinewood, you will receive clear, actionable feedback to support pupil safety and wellbeing.




Starting secondary school workshop for Yrs 5-7

We’re delighted to announce that we’re hosting a live workshop for pupils in Years 5-7 to support them with the transition to secondary school or senior school in September. It’s going to be held in central London on the evening of 7th June 2024, 5-7pm.


During the two hour session Nurse Consultant James Gardner will talk to young people about managing their allergies at secondary school (eg. managing medication, peer pressure and socialising), share tips and advice (James lives with an allergy himself) and answer any questions they have. At the same time, The Allergy Team will host a session for parents and carers.


If you know of families who might benefit, please share this information and ask them to email us at hello@theallergyteam.com. Please note, there is a charge for this event of £45 for Family Members of The Allergy Team and £65 for non-Members. Each ticket includes one adult and one child place.



Event: Hay fever Q&A

Understand more about hay fever and how to support your students to manage their symptoms. This Q&A with Prof Nick Makwana is aimed at families but we’re opening it up to schools after lots of enquiries.

Buy a ticket  (FREE for Members)

Visit us: Stand G1

If you’re coming to the Schools and Academies Show in London, please come and say hello. Our CEO Sarah will be speaking about keeping pupils with allergies safer and reducing risk in a talk on the Estates stage at 2.55pm.


Good luck for the new term

It’s a long term ahead and we wish you and your teams all the best. Do get in touch if we can support you along the way.

Sarah, Jen and The Allergy Team




Flower image – Alex Jones on Unsplash

Categories: BSA News