According to BabyCenter, A pet allergy is an immune reaction to animal dander (skin flakes), saliva, urine, or feces. (Animal fur or hair itself isn’t much of an allergen, but it can trap pollen, dust, mold, and other allergens.) When a child with pet allergies breathes in dander or comes in contact with saliva or droppings, his immune system goes on alert and releases histamine and over 40 other chemicals to fight off the allergen.
Histamine inflames the nose and airways, and the chemicals may cause the following well-known allergy symptoms: runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and symptoms of asthma, like coughing or wheezing. In fact, most asthma begins in early childhood and can be triggered by animals. If the allergen comes in contact with your toddler’s skin, he may get a rash or hives.
Every kind of animal — including dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, and especially cats — can cause a reaction in a child who is allergic.
My daughter is allergic to dogs & cats and as we’ve recently found out, she’s also allergic to hamsters. We often find ourself saying “She’ll grow out of it”, but will she?
You may find yourself thinking.. can’t we just get a hypoallergenic dog? Remember that there are no allergy free dogs. A hypoallergenic dog is simply one that is less likely to cause allergies than other dogs. These dogs usually shed less hair and dander than other dogs, but can still cause allergies or trigger asthma symptoms in susceptible children.
Another question I often ask is… how do you handle when your child has a play date and they have pets? What do you do when you go to a birthday party and they have dogs?
Do you ask them to put their dog away? Do you simply not go? Is there even a correct way to go about this?
So tell me… what would you do?
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