July 18, 2012

Children and Allergies to Pets

Every year animals get turned into animal controls and animal shelters due to individuals having allergies. Many times it is because of children having allergies to pets. Yet, new research may indicate that having pets in your household can help your children prevent having allergies later in life. According to an article in WebMD, “by the age of 6 or 7, children who had lived with a dog or cat since the first year of life were significantly less likely to be allergic to dogs and cats”. If your child is showing symptoms of allergies and there is a cat or dog in the home do not jump to the conclusion that your child is allergic. There are a variety of substances that your child could be allergic to other than Fido and Mr. Kitty. It is important to have your child tested for allergies to determine exactly what they are allergy to in your household before making the assumption and condemning your cat or dog to possible death by turning them into animal control.

The same allergy tests that are used on adults are used on children. Scratch tests are the least intrusive and are simply where an allergen is placed on the skin and the physician pricks the outer layer of the skin so the allergen can enter the epidermis. An intradermal test actually injects the allergen under the skin. The third type of test is a patch with an allergen is placed on the skin. Any of these tests can help determine whether your child has pet allergies. More information on allergies and testing can be found on WebMD. More information in regards to pets being relinquished to shelters can be found on Petfinder at www.petfinder.com/before-pet-adoption/pets-relinquished-shelters.html. Take the time to learn about allergies as it is possible to overcome allergies and still be able to live a happy life with your pets.