Contrary to popular belief, infants and toddlers are susceptible to airborne triggers like pet dander, pollen, mold and dust. Allergies. And my kid's got them.
She seems to be forever crusty, itchy and uncomfortable. My heart breaks for her because I was the same way when I was little and, in fact, continue to be as an adult (minus the crusty, thank you very much). Of course I’ve feared that my daughter inherited my sinus allergies, but then I thought I was being neurotic. We all thought they can react to certain foods, but that our little ones don’t get nasal allergies. Right? Wrong!
A new study out of France involving 1,850 18-month old children indicates that kid allergies are real.
My mom was so wrong! If I had a dime for every time she said “It’s just a cold. Babies always have colds” --- well, I’d have a lot of dimes.
The doctors at Paris Decartes University first surveyed the parents of nearly two thousand toddlers. Of the kids whose parents reported suspicious allergy activity in the past year, they discovered that 19 percent had an amped up concentration of eosinophils which are inflammatory immune cells. Poor babies!
It looks like these allergic tendencies are inherited, as well. This French study revealed that 44 percent of their allergic test babies had at least one parent with nasal allergies in their history. And, in the case of two allergic parents, their odds doubled. Dang!
So what do we do?
Here are the biggest offenders with some tips for keeping your allergic toddler’s snot and discomfort at a minimum without the use of antihistamines:
- Consider ditching some of the dust traps in their room – like an abundance of stuffed animals. My daughter is going to be very pissed about this, by the way.
- Vacuum a lot!
- Turn off the ceiling fan.
- Consider investing in some allergy-proof plastic covers for pillows and mattresses.
- Look for possible water damage around the house and under carpets. Mold likes to hide there and irritate innocent little kids.
- Try to keep your kid indoors when pollen counts are high.
- Keeping the windows shut during these times helps, too.
I’m also going to invest in a good quality HEPA filter. It’ll help with all three of the above.
Oh, and for a variety of other reasons, try not to smoke around your kid. That secondhand smoke is notorious for triggering allergies.
Does your toddler have allergies? What do you think of this study?