What’s The Best OTC Allergy Medicine For Toddlers


Having a toddler in the family is a blessing. A toddler brings a lot of fun and happiness to a home. A toddler can brighten up the gloomiest of days. Just looking at your toddler can melt your heart.

However, when your toddler is not feeling well, you will feel your heart being crushed. When you see your adorable little boy or girl sneezing and coughing, you will wish you were the one who was sick. You will want to take the burden away from them.

Non-stop sneezing and coughing, developing a rash or hives, and watery eyes; these can be signs that your toddler has an allergic reaction. Allergies can be a result of something that your child ate or something that he or she may have been exposed to. Toddlers with a family history of allergies are the ones who can quickly develop the symptoms.

However, no worries, moms, and dads; allergies are treatable. There are many allergy medicines for toddlers. The first thing you need to do, however, is to identify your toddler’s allergies so you will know how to move forward and find the best OTC allergy medicine for children. It will help a lot in determining how you can help manage the allergy.

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Who Needs Allergy Medication?

Children with a family history of allergies, as well as those who have been diagnosed with allergies, are the ones who need allergy medication.

The typical symptoms of allergy or allergic reactions are skin rashes (hives in some cases), sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and stomach upset. Children can also develop allergic rhinitis or hay fever, which is typical of their age. This is characterized by itchy, watery, and red eyes, as well as chronic ear problems. However, children with allergic rhinitis do not develop fever and are not triggered by hay.

Most children are susceptible to food allergies, the triggers for which are varied according to the food type. The most common triggers are milk, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs, wheat, and tree nuts. Seasonal allergies are also quite common among children.

If your toddler shows any of the symptoms mentioned above or has allergic rhinitis or food allergies, he/she will need the best OTC allergy medicine. It is essential to choose the right medication for the type of allergy, so it is necessary to understand what allergy medications are and how they work.

What are Allergy Medications?

Allergy medications are medicines that are used to treat people with allergies. There are different varieties, especially the ones intended for children. OTC or over-the-counter prescriptions and prescription medications are regulated by the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Choosing the right one for your toddler is important.

The most common allergy medication is antihistamines. These are the first medications used to treat allergic reactions or allergies. Antihistamines are also the most established among allergy medications. When a child develops an allergy, his/her body releases histamine, a chemical that makes the eyes itchy and the nose stuffy. What an antihistamine does is stop the effect of histamines in the tissues. These medications are available over-the-counter and are usually recommended for mild allergies. Moreover, giving your toddler an antihistamine can help relieve them of all the itchiness that comes with hives, eczema, and hay fever.

There are also antihistamine nasal sprays for toddlers who may have a difficult time swallowing tablets, or those who dislike taking liquid medication.

A common reaction of antihistamines is drowsiness. Nowadays, however, there are OTC antihistamines that come with a no-drowse formula.

The most common antihistamines, which can be some of the best OTC allergy medicine, are Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Benadryl.

Another type of allergic medication is decongestants. This drug is usually combined with antihistamines. Decongestants help alleviate stuffiness and nasal congestion. They contain pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine and are useful for minimizing congestion by shrinking the nose’s blood vessels.

However, since decongestants often function as stimulants, they can cause children to become anxious or hyperactive. Some may even have trouble relaxing and sleeping. As such, they are not recommended for children four years old and below. Moreover, if given to older children, it should not be used on a long-term basis.

Decongestants can also be taken topically with sprays or nose drops.

Corticosteroids are also used for the treatment of allergies and allergy symptoms, especially for children with eczema. Corticosteroids, also known as cortisone or steroids, are also popular like antihistamines. They can come in pills, inhalers, liquids, ointments, and creams. The most common form, however, is nasal spray.

Cortisones are typically given once a day, with some patients using the sprays for extended periods.

Finding the best OTC allergy medicine is essential in choosing which medication is best for your toddler.

What are the Benefits of OTC Allergy Medicine for Toddlers?

Allergy medicine for toddlers bought over-the-counter have many benefits. The major one, of course, is that they are made specifically for children and are therefore safe for your toddler. There are more specific benefits, though, depending on the type of allergic medication your kid needs or is taking.

The US FDA normally regulates OTC allergy medications. As such, these are guaranteed safe for your toddler. Additionally, they also do the work they are made to do. Giving the best OTC allergy medicine to your child (or children) can be a big help.

Over-the-counter allergy medications suppress histamines, which are the ones that cause symptoms and allergic reactions like the stuffy nor a runny nose, itchiness, and watery and red eyes. They help relieve children of the discomfort caused by allergic reactions. They help make the children feel (and look) better.

The best OTC allergy medicine can flush out allergens and relieve nasal congestion. This is especially true for nasal sprays available for over-the-counter purchase. Oral decongestants contain phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, however, are not recommended for toddlers because of the side effects they can have on them. The best option is an OTC allergy nasal spray.

Antihistamines that contain decongestants, such as Claritin D, are also one of the most effective and efficient is flushing out allergens and relieving nasal stuffiness.

There are also OTC allergy medications for toddlers that work efficiently in preventing asthma attacks. These medicines also help relieve or prevent sneezing, coughing, eye allergies, and itching. Some OTC allergy medications can help release inflammatory chemicals capable of making the nasal passages swell. Once these substances are released the nasal passages are decongested.

The best OTC allergy medicine has effects that can last for six to 12 hours. They take effect quite fast, too. What this means is that your toddler will feel the effects right away and will be able to rest and recover well, in no time.

OTC allergy medications are more affordable than other medicine options. Aside from the fact that they are safe for your toddler and are easy to find/purchase, these over-the-counter medicines are affordable. Well, if there are expensive ones, there are always more practical and cheaper options that are just as effective.

What are the Precautions of OTC Allergy Medicine for Toddlers?

Toddlers are sensitive to any medication, so it is essential to make sure that you choose one that your kid does not react negatively to. Additionally, as in all medicines, it is essential for parents to check the expiration date on the label. Although expired medication does not have a dangerous effect on whoever takes it, it will not be as effective anymore.

Also, it pays to check the label to determine if the OTC allergy medicine if safe for your child. There are allergy medications that are not safe for children. In the same manner, you also need to verify the dosage, so you will not give the wrong dose to your toddler.

It is likewise essential to take note of some side effects that even the best OTC allergy medicine has. The most common of these is drowsiness. As previously mentioned, though, there are now antihistamines and other allergy medications that have a no-drowse formula.

Other symptoms that might develop include dizziness; loss of coordination; upset stomach; dry mouth, throat, or nose; constipation; blurred vision; dry eyes; and a “hangover” feeling. The more severe symptoms are a fluttering in the chest, difficult or painful urination, lesser or no urination, confusion or a feeling that you might pass out, uncontrolled movement of the tongue or tightness in the jaw or neck. These severe symptoms are usually related to a reaction to diphenhydramine, a form of antihistamine.

What are the Best OTC Allergy Medicines for Toddlers?

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Children’s Claritin 24-Hour Non-Drowsy Allergy Grape Chewable Tablet

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Claritin is recognized as the number one non-drowsy allergy medication recommended by pediatricians. It provides relief to allergies caused by outdoor and indoor allergens or causes. Perfect relief for watery eyes, runny nose, itchiness, and other symptoms.

These are chewable tablets, so they are safe for children two years and older. Just one tablet will already give positive results, and the relief is good for 24 hours. The grape flavor is a come-on for children.

This allergy medication’s active ingredient is loratadine.


  • Level of effectiveness is quite high. Some parents have been giving this to their kids for years, without side effects.
  • Safe enough to use as a maintenance medicine.
  • Most children love the taste.
  • Works well even when the allergy is severe.
  • This allergy medication has a long shelf life
  • Very easy to chew.
  • This allergy medication has a long shelf life.
  • One tablet is enough to provide relief.


  • Some parents find this medication a bit expensive.
  • The non-drowsy formula does not work for some children.

Hyland’s 4 Kids Allergy Relief Tablets (Natural Relief)

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This best OTC medication is formulated to relieve children of a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing, and other allergy-related symptoms. These maybe tablets, but your kids will not have a difficult time ingesting this, but you do not need to worry because the tabs are quick-dissolving.

Hyland’s natural relief formula helps relieve symptoms caused by outdoor and indoor allergens. It is a formula that uses natural ingredients.  It does not have any artificial colors, dyes, or sugars, and it does not contain pseudoephedrine. Each tablet is made of natural active ingredients.


  • Formulated with natural ingredients.
  • Does not contain pseudoephedrine and any artificial ingredient.
  • Parents love the fact that they are quick-dissolving. Toddlers do not have difficulty swallowing the tablets.
  • This best OTC allergy medicine is ideal for children as young as two years old.
  • This medication also helps relieve symptoms of hay fever.
  • This is a homeopathic medication, so it is safe and naturally soothing.
  • Hyland’s has been in the homeopathic medicine industry since 1903.
  • The tablets are aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen-free.
  • Affordable for most parents.
  • No known side effects.


  • May not work for everyone.
  • Dose instructions are a bit confusing.
  • You might need to give your child a tablet every 15 minutes or so.

Allegra Children’s 12-Hour Allergy Relief, Berry, 4-Ounce

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This fast-acting allergy medication for children is non-sedating (no-drowse) but quick acting. It is formulated to help relieve symptoms stemming from indoor and outdoor allergens. Allegra’s effect is long-lasting.

Allegra Children’s 12-Hour Allergy Relief is not only suitable for toddlers but also for children 12 years old and over. Adults can benefit from it, too, but with consent from a doctor.


  • This is a fast-acting allergy medication.
  • It is a non-sedated formula, which means it does not make your toddler drowsy.
  • Undoubtedly useful in giving the relief children need.
  • It does not taste bad like another allergy medicine.
  • No side effects for the most part.


  • The no-drowse formula does not work for some children.
  • There are reports of allergic reactions after several days of use.
  • In some cases, the children do not like the berry flavor.

Children’s Benadryl Allergy, Cherry Flavored Liquid

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This cherry-flavored allergy medication for children is intended to relieve allergy symptoms like sneezing, cough, runny nose, colds, sore throat, and nasal congestion, among others. It is an alcohol and color-free formula. It is safe for toddlers (but the dose should be reduced).


  • This Children’s Benadryl Allergy medicine is perfect not only for kids but also for adults.
  • As one of the best OTC allergy medicine options, this works because it does not make you sleepy or drowsy (on a case-to-case basis).
  • There are claims that it can also help relieve bug bites reactions.
  • Relief is fast and quick compared to antihistamine capsules.
  • This allergy medication has a long shelf life.
  • Does not contain alcohol and artificial color.


  • Despite its cherry flavor, some kids find its taste “yucky.”
  • It can have an aftertaste that’s almost like a chemical.
  • Medicine pack label says it is not recommended for children below two years old.

Children’s Zyrtec Allergy Relief Dissolve Tablets with Cetirizine (Citrus Flavored)

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This citrus-flavored allergy relief tablet may be the best OTC allergy medicine because it helps relieve children of hay fever symptoms, as well as upper respiratory allergy symptoms. It is ideal for children suffering from itchy, watery eyes; a runny nose; itchy throat and nose; and sneezing.

Children’s Zyrtec Allergy Relief Dissolve Tablets contain cetirizine hydrochloride. It is safe for children six years and older, as well as for toddlers. Adults can even take this allergy medicine, too.


  • Easily melts in the mouth so kids will not have problems swallowing the tablets.
  • The relief lasts for 24 hours.
  • Works perfectly fine even for really bad allergies.
  • Ideal not only for kids but also for adults.


  • It is not a no-drowse formula.
  • There are complaints about the taste. It can be bitter and is said to leave a bad aftertaste.
  • Can be a bit pricey for some parents.

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Our Choice for the Best OTC Allergy Medicine for Toddlers

It is not easy to choose the best OTC allergy medicine from this list because all the products we featured can help relieve children’s allergy symptoms. There are also two medicines that answer children’s needs, but Children’s Claritin 24-Hour Non-Drowsy Allergy Grape Chewable Tablet is our choice. The primary reason for this, aside from effectiveness and efficiency, is the fact that it works even if you take just one tablet. Also, the effect is quite long lasting – 24 hours.

Claritin is renowned all over the world in allergy medications. It is one of the most popular and most trusted. Moreover, the fact that it is the most recommended by pediatricians is a big plus. Anything that’s trusted by pediatricians can only be good.

These chewable tablets are not only safe for children, but they also taste quite right. Moreover, that is a significant factor because it helps make the children want to take the medication.

Another major factor of Claritin’s 24-hour allergy medication is that it is not known to cause any severe side effects. Some pediatricians and parents even use it as a maintenance medication.

The only disadvantage is that it can be quite expensive. However, then, when it comes to your children’s health, is anything costly?

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