Discovering that anybody in the house– however particularly one of the kids– dislikes the family animal can be upsetting. Our pets are members of our family, so finding that their mere existence is negatively affecting the health or physical comfort of your child produces a difficult scenario. However if it happens, and provided the allergy isn’t severe, there are actions you can take to reduce your child’s signs without turning to rehoming the animal.
If you have young kids and you’re still choosing whether to bring a brand-new pet house– and you have a strong history of allergies in your family– you might want to wait till they’re old adequate to confirm whether they have a pet allergic reaction themselves. If an animal allergic reaction is suspected, it’s a good concept to expose the child to the family pet a few times to watch for signs before devoting to an adoption. Remember, however, that it can take months of exposure prior to allergic reaction signs appear.
If you already have a pet that is causing your kid to sneeze and wheeze, there are some things you can do to help handle the situation.
Make sure the animal truly is the issue
Pet allergy signs are triggered by proteins discovered in the animal’s skin cells (dander), saliva, or urine. They can include sneezing; coughing; a runny nose; itchy, red, or watery eyes; nasal blockage; itchy nose, roof of mouth, or throat; postnasal drip; facial pressure and discomfort; and swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes. According to The Mayo Center, a kid might likewise often rub their nose in an upward motion. But family pets are often blamed for triggering an allergy in kids when the offending irritant is something else entirely.
If your kid is displaying allergic reaction signs, it’s finest to very first talk to their pediatrician or specialist to have them evaluated to confirm what is causing the reaction. As the American Academy of Pediatrics says:
Occasionally, symptoms that seem to be triggered by an animal might be, in reality, due to other allergies, such as to pollen or mold. What takes place is that Fido and Felix check out outdoors, then return into the house with a load of pollen granules and mold spores in their coats. Each time the hay fever victim pats the family pets, he stirs up an unnoticeable cloud of allergens that activates symptoms.
Produce an “allergy-free” zone
The child’s bedroom is the most essential space to keep as clean and clear of irritants as possible, so start by keeping that space off-limits to the family pet. You may likewise think about allergen covers for their bedding, as dust mites are another typical allergy trigger.
Beyond the bedroom, the fewer spaces you can limit the animal’s access to, the better. Perhaps you can gate off the upstairs of your home, especially if the floorings on the primary level have hard surface areas and the bed room floors are carpeted. Animal dander sticks more to surface areas like carpet, drapes, curtains, and upholstered furniture than it does to tough surfaces like wood, tile, or laminate. As Beth Orenstein writes for Everyday Health:
Plus, the latter are much easier to clean. For this factor, you likewise shouldn’t let your allergic kid sleep with packed animals, Dr. [Mervat] Nassef, [a pediatric specialist and immunologist at NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City City], adds. If you need to have carpet in your child’s bedroom or somewhere else in your house, choose a low-pile one and have it steam-cleaned frequently.
Even doing all of this will not completely avoid the spread of irritants throughout the house– air currents from forced-air heating and air conditioning systems will push allergens from room to room. However, you may be able to outfit them with an air purifying system or HEPA filters.
Become a total tidy freak
If your child (or another person in your house) dislikes a family pet, you will require to clean, clean, tidy– and then clean some more. Pet dander is notorious for its capability to remain on any variety of surface areas, so while frequent vacuuming of the floors might be apparent, you’ll likewise wish to make certain you’re keeping walls, furnishings, blinds, ceiling fans, and drapes clean. Your animal’s bed and toys ought to also be cleaned routinely.
C lean your kid, too. If your kid has physical contact with the animal, such as by petting or being licked by the animal, encourage them to instantly clean their hands or any area that entered contact with the family pet with soap and water. Teach them to prevent touching their eyes after engaging with the animal, and if they’ve been playing with it (ideally outside!), have them alter their clothes. Showering prior to bed can also help in reducing the quantity of allergens a kid brings into their bedroom in the evening.
Talk to your veterinarian about food and bathing
Bathing your pet frequently can help in reducing the quantity of allergens it sheds. However, you do not want to exaggerate it and trigger its skin to dry out and shed even more dander. Aim for a weekly bath, and speak with your vet about the best hair shampoo to use on your particular pet. Regular brushing will likewise get rid of dander– but do this outdoors so you don’t send out the dander into the indoor air.
Your veterinarian might likewise have tips for changes you can make to the animal’s diet plan that may assist its skin maintain wetness and reduce shedding. A diet with a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can support much healthier skin.
Treatment or (gulp) removal
If you have actually tried all of the above and it merely hasn’t been enough to manage your kid’s signs, you can speak to their allergist about whether there are any over the counter or prescription treatment alternatives available.
Numerous families will think about rehoming an animal as a last option. If your child’s allergies can not be managed and doing so becomes necessary, The Humane Society has ideas for discovering it a new home.