- Keep your child away from irritants like tobacco smoke, perfumes, household cleaning agents, paints, glues, air fresheners, and potpourri.
- Dust mite control is important, especially in bedrooms. Use dust mite-proof covers on mattress and pillows, frequently wash the child’s bedding in hot water, and remove items that collect dust, such as stuffed toys and rugs. Also avoid using overstuffed furniture.
- Keep the windows closed and use air conditioning, especially during the pollen season. Don’t use fans since they can stir up dust.
- Filter the air. Ask your dealer for High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) air filters. Clean air filters frequently, and air ducts at least once a year.
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50% to prevent mould growth.Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles with mouldkilling solutions. Avoid growing plants indoors, as soil encourages mould growth.
- Sweep and mop the house everyday and dust all exposed surfaces. Use a small hand-held vacuum once a week to remove fine dust from curtains and cushion covers.
- In cars, keep the windows closed and set the air conditioner to use re-circulated air if your child is allergic to pollen.
Keep the child away from wooded areas and flowering gardens.
- Engage your child indoors on hot, dry and windy days when
pollen counts are generally high.
- If your child develops hives or rashes from insect bites, he should wear shoes, long pants and long-sleeved clothes when outside the home.
- In case of food allergies, you should be extra cautious when giving your child packaged food or food from outside. Food labelling in India is not as evolved as it is in the west and may not carry a detailed ingredient list. The best thing to do when in doubt is to avoid giving your child the food item.
- Don’t keep pets at home to avoid pet allergens such as fur, saliva, body excretions.
- For kids prone to asthma bouts, avoid sudden temperature changes as this may trigger an attack.
Food allergies are often confused with food intolerance because of similar symptoms. The symptoms of foodintolerance include burping, indigestion, gas, loose stools, and headaches. However, food intolerance does not involve the immune system, and is caused by a person’s inability to digestcertain substances, such as lactose, due to the lack of certain enzymes in the body. Lastly, while food intolerance can be unpleasant, it is rarely dangerous.
Will my child outgrow his food allergies? The good news is that food allergies in children aren’t always a life sentence. Most children outgrow allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat, usually by five years of age, but only a small proportion of children outgrow allergies to peanuts, fish and shellfish. The severity of reaction is also a factor in determining whether a child will outgrow a food allergy. If the child’s reaction to eating the food is mild (hives/eczema), then the food allergy is more likely to fade away, as compared to if he experiences anaphylaxis from eating the food.