Hello, fall. Hello, sneezin' season! Do you or your baby's dad have allergies? It doesn't mean your baby is doomed to getting them, too -- but it does make it more likely.
Millions of kids have allergies. An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a substance that's harmless to most people. It's an immune system gone amok. People can be allergic to just about anything, but the most common nonfood allergens are dust mites, pollen, mold, pet dander, cockroaches, medicines, insect venom and chemicals. Signs and symptoms of allergies include sneezing, stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing, and itchy eyes, nose or throat.
Here's how our Mommy M.D.s -- doctor-moms -- treat their own kids' allergies.
"When a child has a cold or allergies that are associated with a lot of mucus, I'd stop giving them cow's milk to drink," says Dana S. Simpler, M.D., a mom of two grown daughters and a son and a specialist in internal medicine in private practice in Baltimore. "Cow's milk increases mucus production, worsening a child's congestion."
"When my younger son was a toddler, he had severe allergies, and he kept getting croup and conjunctivitis," says Cathie Lippman, M.D., a mom of two grown sons and a physician who specializes in environmental and preventive medicine at the Lippman Center for Optimal Health in Beverly Hills, California. "He seemed to be allergic to everything. I ripped all of the wall-to-wall carpeting out of my home. My son's allergies diminished to almost nothing, and he never got conjunctivitis again."
"My children had seasonal allergies as toddlers," says Aline T. Tanios, M.D., a mom of four children and a pediatric hospitalist at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St Louis. "When their allergies were flaring up, I gave them an age- and weight-appropriate dose of children's Benadryl." (Talk with your toddler's doctor before giving your toddler this or any medication.)
"Kids have so many runny noses and colds that sometimes it can be hard to distinguish if nasal symptoms are from colds or allergies," says Sigrid Payne DaVeiga, M.D., a mom of three children and a pediatric allergist with Teva Pharmaceuticals on staff at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and the FIGHT Pediatrics/Adolescent center in Philadelphia. "Children usually don't develop allergies to seasonal pollens until after the age of 2 or 3 years, but many children can have allergies to pet dander and dust mites from an even younger age."
"Signs and symptoms to look out for are itchy eyes and nose, watery eyes and runny nose," DaVeiga continues. "If your child has a lot of ear infections, it's a good idea to have him checked for nasal allergies. This will help you prevent repeat ear infections. An allergist can provide simple skin testing to tell you whether or not your child has allergies."
"My kids had seasonal allergies," says Hana R. Solomon, M.D., a mom of four and grandmom of eight, a pediatrician and the author of "Clearing the Air One Nose at a Time: Caring for Your Personal Filter" in Columbia, Missouri. "I addressed the problem by cleaning up their environment. I removed as many carpets as possible in our home and replaced them with washable floors. I removed as many fabric curtains as reasonable and replaced them with washable blinds. I covered the mattresses and pillowcases with allergy covers. I kept pets out of the bedrooms (no exceptions!). I also kept the furnace filters clean.
"Then we cleaned up our diet," Solomon continues. "I bought organic foods, avoided processed artificial foods and tried to rotate foods. Back then, not many people believed that there was a relationship between foods and allergies and asthma, but now it is proven. Allergies to fish, nuts, milk, pork and other foods are well known.
"In addition to cleaning our home environment and cleaning up our diet, I also would wash my children's noses," Solomon continues. "I understood that allergy and asthma episodes always began with a snotty nose, so washing it made sense. Now we know that rinsing with the correct solution will remove 80% of the allergens! Cleaning the environment and the diet and the nose help decrease the toxic load on the body."
Mommy MD Guides-recommended product: Nasopure Nasal Wash
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Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate Inc.