Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, an allergist and immunologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says springtime pollen remains a major cause of stuffy sinuses, runny noses and itchy eyes, but it's not the most prevalent cause of allergies and asthma in children.
Cockroach allergens are a real problem in the spring and they have a much bigger impact on kids with asthma than either dust mites or pet dander, Gruchalla says.
"Children who are allergic to cockroaches have more asthma symptoms and generally miss more school because of their asthma," Gruchalla says in a statement. "Inner city kids who live in apartments are most likely to be exposed to cockroaches, but they're everywhere."
Cleaning can make a big difference in preventing allergy symptoms and asthma, Gruchalla, advises.
"Some cockroach preventive tactics include fixing leaky faucets, caulking cracks, eating only in the kitchen and dining room, keeping food sealed in plastic containers and taking out the trash daily," Gruchalla says.