May


Spring is here!! And with it, comes environmental allergies.

Common Airborne Allergens:

Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):

  • Dust mites are microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They're the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

  • Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often called hay fever or rose fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen.

  • Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can help people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are usually higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it's chilly and wet.

  • Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and outside in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

  • Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn't cleaned.

  • Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.

Airborne Allergies

To help kids avoid airborne allergens:

  • Keep family pets out of your child's bedroom.

  • Remove carpets or rugs from your child's room (hard floors don't collect dust as much as carpets do).

  • Don't hang heavy drapes and get rid of other items that allow dust to build up.

  • Clean when your child is not in the room.

  • Use special covers to seal pillows and mattresses if your child is allergic to dust mites.

  • If your child has a pollen allergy, keep the windows closed when pollen season is at its peak, have your child take a bath or shower and change clothes after being outdoors, and don't let him or her mow the lawn.

  • Keep kids who are allergic to mold away from damp areas, such as some basements, and keep bathrooms and other mold-prone areas clean and dry.

Taking Control

Your doctor will probably suggest ways to stay away from the allergen or prescribe a medicine for you to try. Allergy medicine can be pills, liquids, or even sprays for your nose. If your allergies aren't too bad or if you can avoid the allergen completely, you might not need to take medicine — staying away from the allergen might be enough to control your allergy.

Information from Kidshealth.org

Natural Treatments: You can also try these natural recommendations for prevention:


A spoonful of local honey everyday

Air purifiers for the home

Normal Saline nasal sprays

Natural eye drops (but if there is any yellow or green discharge, see a doctor)


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