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    Lighten Your Child's Allergy Load

    Sweep away triggers to reduce your child's allergy symptoms.

    continued...

    Stop Mold Stop in Its Tracks

    Mold is a common childhood allergen. Outside, you may find it in:

    • Soil
    • Rotting wood
    • Wet leaves or mulch
    • Vinyl lawn furniture and cushions
    • Patios
    • Boat canvas

    Inside, molds may be in:

    • Bathrooms
    • Bedrooms
    • Refrigerators and kitchens
    • Garages and attics
    • Garbage containers
    • Carpets
    • Damp wallpaper
    • Rotting wood floors
    • Upholstered furniture

    To prevent mold:

    • Keep kitchen and bathroom surfaces dry.
    • Use diluted (5%) bleach and a little detergent to remove mildew on washable surfaces in musty areas.
    • Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to keep humidity low.
    • Fix leaky pipes and wall cracks to keep water from leaking into your home.
    • Get rid of indoor plants and other mildew sources.
    • Avoid using plug-in air fresheners.

    Make Your House a Nonsmoking Area

    Smoke can increase allergen deposits in your child's nose and lungs. Ban:

    • Smoking
    • Fires in wood stoves or fireplaces
    • Candles
    • Incense

    What About Pets and Allergies?

    • Pet hair or fur can carry dust, pollen, mold, or other allergens into your home. Know that:
    • Your child may be allergic to a protein found in the animal's saliva, dander, or urine.
    • If your pet sheds, allergens can be carried through the air and land in your child's eyes and nose.
    • Pet allergies can also cause hives and itching.

    Some studies show that washing your pet weekly may reduce the allergens released during shedding. If possible, keeping your pet outside is probably the best idea.

    Testing

    If your child still wakes up sneezy, wheezy, and stuffy, look into testing for less-obvious triggers like:

    • Dust mites
    • Mold
    • Cockroaches

    Medicine

    If symptoms don't go away, talk to her doctor about:

    • Over-the-counter non-drowsy antihistamines
    • Over-the-counter steroid nasal sprays
    • Saline nasal rinses
    • Prescription nasal sprays

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    Reviewed on October 26, 2012

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