Fall allergies: 21 tips for parents

COMMON ALLERGENS ON THE HOME FRONT

  • Dust (contains dust mites and finely ground particles from other allergens such as pollen, mold and animal dander) and pollen (trees, grasses, weeds)
  • Fungi (including molds too small to be seen with the naked eye)
  • Furry animals (cats, dogs, guinea pigs, gerbils, rabbits, and other pets)
  • Clothing and toys made, trimmed, or stuffed with animal hair or latex (household articles such as rubber gloves, toys, balloons, elastic in socks, underwear, and other clothing, airborne particles)
  • Seed dusts (beanbag toys and cushions) and bacterial enzymes (used to manufacture enzyme bleaches and cleaning products)
  • Foods such as cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat and gluten, and corn
  • Airborne dust from grain elevators, barns and haylofts (in rural areas)

MEDICATIONS TO SUPRESS SYMPTOMS

Your child's allergy treatment should start with your pediatrician, who may refer you to a pediatric allergy specialist for additional evaluations and treatments.

  • Antihistamines -- Dampen the allergic reaction.
  • Decongestants -- Cover the range of symptoms.
  • Corticosteroids -- Highly effective for allergy treatment and are widely used to stop symptoms.
  • Allergy Immunotherapy -- Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, may be recommended to reduce your child's sensitivity to airborne allergens. Not every allergy problem can or needs to be treated with allergy shots, but treatment of respiratory allergies to pollen, dust mites, and outdoor molds is often successful.

American Academy of Pediatrics, The AAP Guide to Your Child's Allergies and Asthma, 2001

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