For many adults and children alike, summer isn’t always a time of year to look forward to getting outside and enjoying the sunshine. In fact, for those dealing with environmental allergies, it’s about the exact opposite. The world can turn into a landmine of triggers for those with allergies, and it takes some planning to avoid days of sneezing, coughing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
If your child has allergies, don’t worry! There are more than a few ways that you can help reduce their symptoms, and Pediatric Associates of Northern Colorado are here to help. First, we can help investigate what specific allergies your child is experiencing. As we discussed in our allergies 101 blog, there are a few different categories of allergies, and each comes with different triggers, symptoms, and treatment plans. In the case of food allergies, diagnosis may just be a matter of paying attention to cause and effect. In the case of environmental allergies, however, you can stop into Pediatric Associates’ Fort Collins office for a simple allergy test. Call today to make your appointment!
Target the Triggers
After we administer an allergy test, you’ll have a better understanding of what allergens your child is sensitive to, and you can plan how to reduce their exposure. The Pediatric Associates of Northern Colorado want to help you make better, more informed choices on what to do, so we are focusing on a few of the most common allergens to offer you tips on how to make your home a haven. In part one of this series, we discussed pollen and dust mites. Today, we’ll be covering a few more common triggers. Keep reading for our advice or talk to your child’s pediatrician for specific tips straight from the source!
Mold is insidious in how widespread it can be. It can be found outside on plants and lawn furniture and inside in damp areas like bathrooms and garages. The most effective way to fight mold is to keep surfaces as dry as possible and keep the humidity inside your home low. Indoor plants can harbor mildew, so you may want to think twice about the ficus in the corner of the dining room. It is also in your best interest to fix any leaking pipes or cracks as soon as possible.
Smoke is generally not considered an allergen, but it can trigger or worsen existing allergies, and even if no one in your family smokes, there are several ways your child may be exposed. Guests who smoke is one example, so you may consider designating your home a non-smoking zone and making that clear to any friends or family members before they visit. Smoke from sources other than tobacco can also trigger your child’s allergies, including smoke from candles, incense, and wood fires. Deciding to keep your fireplace decorative rather than functional may be hard to swallow, but ridding your home of candles or reducing their numbers is an easy way to help your child be more comfortable.
There are several ways that pets – especially our furry friends – may be triggers for your child’s allergies. Your dog or cat’s dander, saliva, or urine can be triggers for some individuals, but they can also carry other allergens in their fur. For example, if your child is allergic to a certain kind of pollen, having a pet going in and out of the house during that peak pollen season can become a trigger. Pollen and dust can cling to your pet’s fur and be redistributed throughout the house. Shedding can make it worse by carrying those allergens to your child’s eyes and nose.
You can reduce your child’s exposure by trying to control the spread of allergens through fur. Try to reduce your pet’s shedding by brushing them outside. You can also diminish how many allergens they carry by washing them weekly, or finding a way to safely keep them outside. If worse comes to worst – you can’t stop the spread of allergens through fur or your child is allergic to the animal itself – you may have to rehome your pet with a trusted friend or family member.
Talk to Your Doctor
Remember, the best way to treat your child’s allergies is to address their specific triggers, and there are a lot of ways to do that. Reducing their exposure to their triggers is always the best first step, whether that means using your thermostat to keep the humidity in your home low or enacting a no-smoking policy. The advice we’ve offered in today’s blog and part one of this series is rather specific, however, so in our next post we’ll be talking about what you can do to fight all kinds of allergens in your child’s life. Keep an eye on this blog to learn more about treatments like immunotherapy, and, as always, talk to your child’s pediatrician for more targeted advice. Whether it’s day or night, you can always contact the Pediatric Associates of Northern Colorado to speak to a doctor. Call now to make your next appointment!