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Allergy-Proof Your Environment

(continued)

Outdoors

  • Minimize walks in wooded areas or gardens.
  • Check the forecast. Stay indoors as much as possible on hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are generally the highest.
  • Try to avoid extreme temperature changes -- they are triggers for some people with asthma.
  • If possible, stay indoors between 5 and 10 a.m. when outdoor pollen counts are usually highest.
  • Wear a mask (such as an inexpensive painter's mask) when mowing the lawn if you are allergic to grass pollen or mold. Avoid mowing and being around freshly cut grass if possible.
  • Wear a mask when gardening, as flowers and some weeds release pollen and can cause allergy symptoms.
  • Avoid raking leaves or working with hay or mulch if you are allergic to mold.
  • After being outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes to remove pollen that may have collected in your clothes and hair.
  • To protect yourself from insect stings, wear shoes, long pants and sleeves, and do not wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products.
  • If you have severe allergies and your doctor has prescribed an epinephrine injector kits, carry two with you outdoors.
  • Don't hang clothes or linens out to dry as pollen and molds may collect in them and can make your allergies worse.

Traveling

  • Pack your medicines with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Bring an extra supply of medicines in case you need them.

Staying in a Hotel

  • Ask for a nonsmoking room.
  • Remove feather pillows and ask for synthetic, nonallergenic pillows -- or bring your own plastic pillow cover from home.
  • If possible, keep the vent on the room air conditioner shut.

Dining

  • Eat in smoke-free restaurants.
  • For food allergies, avoid the foods that cause your allergy symptoms by carefully reading ingredient labels and asking about the food preparation methods when dining out. Choose fresh foods rather than prepared or processed foods. If you have severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis, carry two epinephrine injection kits with you at all times.

For Children in School

  • Discuss your child's allergies with school personnel.
  • If your child suffers from food allergies, discuss them with school officials, teachers and lunchroom staff.
  • Educate your child about his/her allergies early, so your child can learn to avoid situations where he or she may eat a food that will trigger an allergic reaction. Arrange for  two epinephrine kits to be left at the school, and make sure school officials (and your child when they are old enough) are able to use it correctly.
  • Inform school personnel about the medicines your child is taking and make arrangements to leave necessary medicines at school.
  • Encourage sports participation, but inform coaches of medicines that may need to be taken before activities.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on June 19, 2012
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