Allergies in Children: 4 Simple Steps for Parents
Managing allergies in children can be challenging for parents. We want our kids to be comfortable, and will do whatever we can for them. After visiting your child’s doctor and getting allergy tested, you may want to take other steps around the home to reduce the amount of exposure your child is getting to certain allergens.
Here are 4 simple steps for managing your child’s allergies at home:
1. Night time, bath time!
Clothing, skin and hair collect dust, mold and pollen (from playing outside). When our kids climb in bed at night, allergens are distributed onto sheets and pillows and our little ones continue breathing in pollen, dust and mold while they sleep. Bathing and shampooing at the end of the day will help to decrease exposure while sleeping.
2. Keep pets out of the bedroom.
Pets collect allergens on their coat so when they come into bedrooms and climb on beds, they are not only bringing pet allergens with them, they bring pollen, dust and mold.
While keeping pets out is optimal, if you’re like me, this is impossible. Alternatively, limit the amount of time the pet is in the bedroom by keeping the bedroom door closed during the day. Try to bathe dogs every 2 weeks. At the end of each day, use pet wipes or unscented baby wipes to remove pet allergens as well as pollen, dust and mold from their coat. If the pet sleeps on your child’s bed, lay a sheet or towel underneath the pet. In the morning, fold the sheet or towel carefully to contain most allergens and take it to the laundry.
3. Use allergy covers and wash bedding frequently.
For those children with dust mite allergies, use special allergy mattress and linen covers and launder all bedding frequently. Doing this will decrease a child’s allergen exposure if they have a dust mite allergy. Stuffed animals can also harbor dust mites. If your child sleeps with a stuffed animal, try to launder it frequently as well. Check the tags on the toys for washing instructions, but placing them in a mesh laundry bag can decrease chances of it being damaged.
4. Feed a variety of foods early on
Ninety-five percent of food allergies in children are equated to wheat, corn (corn syrup, sugars, and sweeteners), egg, milk, yeast and soybean. Rotating your child’s food and introducing your child to a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats early on, can decrease the chance of developing new food allergies.