It’s October. That means that the cooler breezes wafting across the valley carry with them the remnants of thousands of acres of grass. Bits of dried grass and dust are released into the air when yards, parks and golf courses are scalped, and it’s an annual headache for valley residents.
I’ve noticed, since becoming a parent, that kids also suffer during the scalping month of October. The sneezing and snotting and wheezing play like a symphony in the hallways and classrooms of my kids’ elementary school. Of course, it can’t all be blamed on allergies, but it definitely plays a part.
It doesn’t seem fair that the weather finally cools own enough to open windows and spend more time outside, just in time for scalping season.
I’m not an allergy sufferer, until valley grass is scalped (as I write this, my eyes are burning), and my kids don’t get red eyes and sneeze every five minutes unless it’s October.
A good friend of mine posted a picture yesterday on Facebook of her toddler using a nebulizer machine. His breathing is always bad during scalping season, she said.
Many asthma sufferers have increased difficulty breathing when there is so much pollen in the air.
My asthma also seems to kick into overdrive around this time of year.
Grass scalping isn’t fun for grown-ups and it’s hard on kids.
According to WebMD, the pollen that grows at the top of each blade of grass is released into the air in the late spring an early summer. That pollen continues to grow and, in the case of the Coachella Valley, is released en masse when grass — particularly with the extreme number of golf courses we have — is cut down completely to prepare for winter seeding.
The site recommends avoiding too much outside exposure — a ridiculous suggestion for any valley resident who braved the summer months and wants to enjoy cooler temperatures — wear masks when gardening and utilize over-the-counter allergy relief medications.
As for children who suffer from grass pollen allergies — experts agree that limiting their outdoor time is the best way to combat symptoms. Of course, if a child is having a hard time with allergies, a visit to the pediatrician is warranted.