Most households have a family pet, and in most cases, this is either a dog or a cat. This pet is not just an animal your kids play with, for most people their pet is part of their families. Therefore, you are bound to be distressed when you realize that playing with the dog or cuddling with the cat, is making your kid sick. Before you can come up with a course of action, you need to understand allergens and how they affect your child.
Get to Know More About Pet Allergies and How They Affect Your Children
Allergens are things in your environment which cause allergic reactions. They can be inhaled, ingested or may come into contact with your skin. When this happens your body starts to produce histamine, and you may present symptoms like the development of a rash, skin eruptions, difficulty breathing or even asphyxiation. In a home dust mites, dust pollen, mold and pet dander. Animal droppings and saliva sometimes also cause similar reactions for some people.
How to Run Allergy Tests
If you suspect that your child’s symptoms result from spending time with your cat, then you need to experiment. Necessarily, you will need to observe your child’s behaviors and health before and after they spend time with your pet. By doing so, you can tell if the allergens are due to the animals.
After this, you should place them in an environment that is ultimately pet-free, for at least half a day. If the symptoms clear up then, you will need to book an appointment with an allergy specialist. When you meet with this expert, they can run some tests to determine the allergen responsible for your problems.
Allergists do so by scratching or pricking the skin of the affected person and placing a drop containing the allergen to that spot. If your kid is genuinely allergic, small pimples will develop at that spot. Once the allergen and severity of the allergies are determined, then a course of treatment can be implemented. It can either include prescribing some drugs or allergy shots.
Taking Steps to Reduce Allergies
The moment you find out your child’s symptoms are related to your cat, you will most likely start worrying because your cat is an integral member of the family. However, this may not be necessary unless the symptoms are severe.
Before you resort to such drastic measures, consider making these adjustments to your home:
- Increase the frequency with which you deep clean your upholstery and carpets. It would be advisable to seek out the services of a specialized pet hair vacuum cleaner.
- Consider hardwood or tiles floors instead of having carpeted floors.
- Keep the pets away from upholstered surfaces and out of any of your bedrooms.
- Teach your children to wash their hands and change their clothes after playing with your cat.
- Work on a clean air environment – an air purifier will remove harmful pet-related allergens from the air.
This is particularly effective if your child has an asthma-related pet allergy.
- Regularly groom your cat.
Among the equipment you will need to invest in to achieve a cleaner home environment are a vacuum cleaner and air purifier. When shopping for these devices, focus mainly on those that are modified to deal with pet hair and dander. Having these will allow you to tackle the particulates stuck on your upholstery and floors as well as those in the air. With these steps, you move closer to an allergen-free home.
Many people hold on to the notion that some animals are worse for people with allergies than others. However, you need to remember that if the allergen affecting your kids is dander, this will be present even in furless mammals. Therefore, getting a cat or dog with less fur will not make any difference.
By teaching your child about how to take precautions to minimize their allergies, they learn how to live with your cat, and it helps them understand how to interact with other animals that they come into contact with.