There's no proven way to avoid getting hay fever in the first place. Doctors think reducing a child's exposure to allergy-causing substances, such as dust mites and animal dander, may help delay or prevent hay fever — but the evidence isn't clear yet.

If you have hay fever, the best thing you can do is to take steps to lessen your exposure to the allergens that cause your symptoms. Take allergy medications before you're exposed to allergens, as directed by your doctor.

July 17, 2012