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MICHIGAN PRIMARY CARE
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Stacey Gorman, MD
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
Pediatrician
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THE FACTS ABOUT Indoor Allergies

Background

One of every six children suffers from indoor allergies. Their immune systems react when they are exposed to allergens—or triggers—that are eaten, inhaled or come in contact with skin. Some of the most common indoor allergens are dust mites, mold, animal dander (skin or urine, not fur) and cockroaches.

 

Allergy symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Cough
  • Scratchy throat
  • Skin rash

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Precautions

Dust mites are the most common allergy triggers. Your child’s bed is the biggest source of dust mite exposure because children spend a lot of time in bed and dust mites thrive in pillows and mattresses. To help reduce contact with dust mites, encase beds, mattresses, box springs and especially pillows with allergen-proof or allergen impermeable covers. Wash pillowcases and other bedding weekly in hot water (at least 130 degrees) to help reduce dust mite exposure.

 

Here are some other tips to help reduce allergens:

  • Do not pile stacks of plush, stuffed toys on your child’s bed. Plush toys trap allergens.
  • Avoid wall-to-wall carpet in the bedrooms—and throughout the house, if possible - since carpets trap allergens.
  • Vacuum and dust your house frequently. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to reduce the particles thrown up in the air when vacuuming.
  • Replace heating and cooling filters monthly to help trap dust and keep it from circulating throughout the house.

  • Keep bedrooms off limits to pets.
  • Keep your home clean and dry.
  • Fix leaks to avoid mold and remove moldy materials and clean moldy surfaces promptly.
  • Keep food in sealed containers to avoid unwanted pests.

 

Talk with your child’s doctor for more information and assistance in dealing with indoor allergies. It may be necessary to have him/her prescribe allergy medication or shots for your child.

 

Referral

For more information on children’s indoor allergies, or to find a St. Joe pediatrician or other primary care physicians, call the SJMO physician referral line at 800-372-6094.

 

 

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MICHIGAN PRIMARY CARE
 
 
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