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Jun 01st
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New Jersey's allergy season in full bloom

allergies051011_optBY PAM LOBLEY

Allergy season has exploded across New Jersey, as I am sure your runny nose and itchy eyes have told you. Every morning I serve up the Zyrtec right along with Cheerios. I give my sons eye drops while they flinch and gasp. Still, they suffer.

They say that the pollen is very intense right now because our cold winter and wet spring caused all the trees to burst forth at the same time with their buds. Instead of a progressive release, there has been an explosion of pollen, making allergies worse than ever.

Forgive me, but they say this every year. I have yet to live through a spring when the headline was: “Trees Magically Green Without Any Pollen … Tissue Sales Way Down.”

It’s bad enough when I am feeling the season, but I feel worse for the kids. First of all, they have recess, they have Little League, they shoot hoops in the driveway. They are outside all the time. And believe me, I want them outside all the time. After the winter we’ve had, they have a lot of steam to blow off.

This means they are little walking pollen transmitters. They are bringing pollen in to the house on their bodies, clothes and backpacks. The whole idea of controlling allergies is to keep the pollen away from yourself. There are several tips to help you do this.

You’re supposed to:

  • Keep all your windows closed. But I don’t, because then my son’s bedroom smells like a hermetically sealed laundry pile.
  • Have them change their clothes when they come home, so that the pollen doesn’t get spread all over the house. They’re in and out 10 times a day. Like I have a clean shirt every time? No.
  • Wash their sheets every day. I don’t think so.
  • Dust and vacuum more often. Forget it.
  • Wash all bedroom window treatments in hot water once a week. Sounds fun, but I’ll have to pass.
  • Have them shampoo every night, to keep the pollen off their pillow. Finally! A tip that doesn’t involve doing more housework! I have had some success with this, although my younger son keeps asking in disbelief, “Again?” when I tell him to shampoo along with his shower.

Even our dog is sneezing. I suppose I could bathe him every day.

Not a chance.

Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Sign up for her mailing list at


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