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8 Things That May Be Triggering Your Child's Allergies

8 Things That May Be Triggering Your Child's Allergies

Symptoms of childhood allergies, ranging from sneezing and coughing to skin rashes and stomach upset, can mimic many other illnesses.

Successful allergy care includes determining whether an allergy is causing your child’s distress and developing a customized treatment plan that may include medication. However, identifying the triggers so your child can avoid them is also critical to allergy care.

Our team at Southfield Pediatrics, with offices in Bingham Farms and Novi, Michigan, specializes in allergy and asthma care customized to fit your child’s needs. We’re always happy to provide the information parents require to make wise decisions about their children’s health.     

Here are eight potential culprits that may be triggering your child's allergies:

1. Pollen

Various grasses, trees, and weeds produce pollen. Certain pollen types are prevalent during specific seasons. For instance, most springtime allergies are usually triggered by trees and grasses. Fall allergies tend to be caused by weed pollen, often ragweed.

You can help your children avoid pollen triggers by checking pollen forecasts daily and keeping them inside, if possible, on high pollen days. Use air purifiers in their rooms and always ensure windows are closed during high pollen counts.

Additionally, pollen can travel indoors on sports equipment, shoes, jackets, and other clothing. You can help limit exposure by keeping racquets, shoes, and other items outside the backdoor or at least bagged and isolated in a closet.       

If your child has seasonal allergies, ask your Southfield Pediatrics specialist about starting medications a few weeks before allergy season begins to prevent reactions.    

2. Dust mites

Dust mites are a common allergy trigger and exist naturally in bedding, carpets, stuffed toys, and upholstered furniture.

To prevent allergic reactions, wash bedding in hot water weekly. Also, consider using allergen-proof covers for mattresses and pillows. If you can’t replace carpeting with hardwood floors, vacuum regularly using a machine with a HEPA filter.

Limit stuffed toy displays to one or two favorites, remove them from the bed before sleep, and wash them regularly to prevent dust mites from settling.

3. Pet dander

Cats, dogs, birds, guinea pigs, and other pets produce dander that can trigger allergy symptoms, including sneezing, itchy red eyes, runny nose, and skin rashes.

If your child is allergic, but you want to keep the pet, try bathing the pet regularly and ensuring they don’t enter the child's bedroom. Consider using HEPA filters in rooms where the pet frequently stays.

4. Mold

Mold can be found in bathrooms, basements, or any space where moisture accumulates. You can help prevent mold growth by keeping these areas clean and dry, using a dehumidifier, and ensuring proper ventilation. Be sure to fix any leaks promptly.

5. Food 

Any food can cause an allergic reaction, but some of the most common culprits are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.

Food allergy symptoms can vary widely, ranging from eye symptoms to stomach upset to skin rashes. Food allergies may also cause difficulty breathing and other signs of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that requires emergency medical care.

Call 911 if you suspect anaphylaxis. Otherwise, schedule a visit at Southfield Pediatrics if your child shows food allergy symptoms so we can identify the culprit via allergy testing.

6. Insect stings and bites

Most allergic reactions occur after stings or bites from bees, wasps, hornets, and mosquitoes. Teach your child to be cautious around where these insects are commonly found. Ensure they wear covered clothing and use insect repellents when necessary.

7. Household cleaners and detergents

Fragrances and chemicals in laundry detergent, fabric softeners, and household cleaning products can trigger allergies. Select natural, fragrance-free, and dye-free products labeled hypoallergenic.

8. Personal care products and clothing

Soaps, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, especially those with strong fragrances, and other personal care products can also contain allergens. Some fabrics, such as wool, also contain dyes or other natural ingredients (lanolin) that can cause skin irritation and rash.

Choose hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products, and conduct patch tests to check for an allergic reaction when trying something new. Always wash new clothing thoroughly before your child wears it.

Schedule a visit at Southfield Pediatrics today for more help identifying and treating childhood allergies. Call the office or request an appointment online.

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