Taking your little one home for the first time, you likely vowed to do everything you could to protect them. While you may have already learned that our kids are more resilient than we think, it’s still important to be aware of their health. And for many parents, this means dealing with household allergies.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 40% of children have allergies. This means that there is a good chance that your sweet new baby will grow to be sensitive to some common household and food items.
But don’t worry — with the right preparation, you can learn to identify and treat this common irritants. The following are some of the most common types of allergies that people live with today.
- Dust: You might find that your family gets the sniffles whenever you spend extended periods of time indoors. Well, dust may be to blame. Studies show that about 2,000 dust mites can live on one ounce of carpet dust, making you cough and sneeze. To prevent this, keep up with vacuuming and routine dusting.
- Pollen: Also known as “hay fever,” pollen allergies usually creep up during the Spring. Since spending time outdoors with your family is an irreplaceable activity, talk to your child’s doctor about over-the-counter allergy medications to control their symptoms. This way, they can have fun without worrying about itchy eyes and sniffles.
- Mold: This particular allergen tends to sneak up on you, since it is often hard to catch mold growing in your home. This is why it is usually wise for new parents, and homeowners in general, to hire a professional to conduct a mold inspection. It’s important to catch mold growth early, since it can cause potentially dangerous health problems.
- Food: Once your baby starts eating solid food, they do run the risk of developing a food allergy. But don’t fret. According to WebMD, only about 5% of children have a proven reaction to a food. Common reactions include dairy, nuts, eggs, and shellfish. So, if you are part of the 90% of U.S. families that enjoy ice cream and your child breaks out in hives or other symptoms, get them to emergency care and inform their doctor.
- Insects: Another allergy that you cannot necessarily prevent, some children may be allergic to bees or other insect bites. If your child has a negative reaction to an insect, get them to medical care. Once you talk to their doctor, you might be advised to carry an EpiPen in the event of another bite or sting.
If you are worried that your child has an allergy of some sort, talk to your doctor about prevention and care. They will give you specific medications or remedies to keep your child symptom free. You may also find that your child outgrows their allergy as they age, so ask their doctor about how to test for this.
Remember: As a parent, you don’t need to live in fear that your child will have a strong allergic reaction. The types of allergies and their symptoms vary greatly, so keep yourself educated and calm. Stay attentive and work with their doctor, as you would with any other aspect of their health. Your care and responsibility will keep them as healthy as possible.