Hayfever Medication

My third son really suffers with hayfever during the summer months. When he was younger this manifested as croup. We would have to take him into a steam-filled bathroom, or out into the cool night-time air to help his breathing. We even had a Tefal humidifier (inspired by our years in the dry air of Ankara) which would produce steam by his bed at night. But his symptoms still prompted several night-time visits to hospital, where a steroid would be administered to ease his breathing. As he has grown older, we have managed his symptoms with a Ventolin inhaler as required, but also with regular hayfever medication. For some weeks, I have been dosing him with Cetirizine Hydrochloride twice a day. However, I have noticed that he seems more lethargic recently, drowsy at times and a bit disinterested. This comes and goes. My Dad even commented on this today - and it got me thinking. I have decided to cut the meds - and to introduce an earlier bedtime for him - and to see whether these symptoms improve.

Bedtimes are tricky in our house as our youngest (2) doesn't want to go to bed whilst the others are still up. Our third son (8) may need more sleep, but doesn't want to go to bed before his younger brother and feel he is missing out on anything. This dilemma, combined with the lighter summer evenings, has meant bedtime has slipped back, with the younger two going to sleep at around 9.00pm and the older two later. Our eldest son seems to be particularly alert and productive in the evening. Anyway, tonight I said our 8 year old needs to go to bed between 8 and 8.30, and we managed to find an alternative homeopathic hayfever remedy in Boots which I will be trialling for effectiveness from tomorrow.

Does anyone have any advice or experience on medicating hayfever in children? My eldest son also suffers - particularly with itchy eyes, and eye drops have really been helping him this week. When I asked the doctor, though, we were prescribed a steroid nasal spray which I am now reluctant to use.