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Tag Archive | "ACAAI"

Back-to-school 101 for kids with allergies and asthma


SCH-Back-to-school-101

(BPT) – There are lots of things kids get excited about when they go back to school. From brand new lunch boxes loaded with pudding cups, to shiny 64-packs of crayons and catching up with friends they haven’t seen for awhile, anticipation is in the air.

But if you’re a parent of one of the 28 million children who suffer from allergies, or one of the 7.1 million children who have asthma, sending kids back to school can cause anxious moments.

“Many parents look forward to their child returning to the classroom,” said allergist Janna Tuck, spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “But for parents of children with allergies or asthma, school raises questions about conditions that can’t be controlled or monitored. They want to make sure their child is safe, has adequate resources and that systems are in place if they have an asthma or allergy attack.”

By following these suggestions from the ACAAI, you can help ensure your child has a safe, fun start to the school year.

Know their triggers. Students with pets at home can bring pet dander into school. Other common allergens such as pollen and dust will definitely find their way into the classroom. If your child suddenly develops a runny nose, has difficulty breathing or comes home with a rash, it may be related to classroom triggers. Check with your allergist if previously unseen symptoms occur or if existing symptoms worsen.

Make an appointment with an allergist. If you think your child might have allergies or asthma, making an appointment with a board-certified allergist is the first step to accurately developing a game plan. An allergist can determine what’s causing your child’s symptoms, as well as provide guidance to help both of you cope with allergies and asthma. Through prescribing medication and creating treatment plans, your allergist can provide the care that leads to fewer school absences.

Talk to your child about lunch time. Younger children especially might be excited to share food with friends or try new things on the lunch menu. If your child has a food allergy, it’s important they know why they cannot eat certain things or share food. If your child is prescribed an epinephrine auto injector, make sure the staff is trained in how to use it, and knows where your child’s is located.

Meet with the school. This is one of the biggest steps in preparing for the new school year. Your child’s teachers, coaches, school nurse and principal should all be informed about your child’s asthma and/or allergies, and what medications they carry with them. All 50 states have laws allowing children to carry their needed medication. If your child is old enough, teach them how to use their epinephrine auto injector or rescue inhaler. Make sure they understand warning signs and symptoms, what precautions to take and who to talk to if a reaction develops.

Talk with your child’s friends and other parents. Communication is always a good policy when it comes to managing your child’s allergies and asthma. Talking to your child’s friends, or asking their parents to talk to their children about asthma and allergies, adds another layer of support. This is important for social reasons, as the more your child’s friends and classmates understand allergies and asthma, the less chance your child will feel isolated.

It can be a challenge to keep your kids free from allergy and asthma triggers. To help get you started on developing an action plan and find an allergist in your area check out the ACAAI allergist locator tool. The ACAAI website has lots of resources to ensure your child has a safe and enjoyable school year.

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Seven steps to allergy relief with spring cleaning


DIG-Seven-steps(BPT) – Longing for allergy relief? To stop the endless cycle of sniffles, sneezes and wheezes, it’s time to ready your vacuum and rubber gloves. Spring cleaning helps eliminate allergens so you can relax, breathe easy and enjoy the season.

“People who suffer from allergies may not realize there’s a direct connection between cleaning your home and reducing allergy symptoms,” says allergist Bryan Martin, DO, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI.) “The more you can rid your home of dust mites, mold, cockroaches and pet dander, the easier you’ll breathe.”

ACAAI recommends seven spring cleaning steps to remove allergens in the home and avoid accidentally letting more in.

Step 1: To sleep, perchance to dream—and  breathe.

Start in the bedroom where you spend eight to 10 hours a day. Dust mites can flourish during cold, dreary months, so wash your sheets and comforter regularly. Most mites die by drowning, but if you want to use hot water (which will kill slightly more mites) don’t use water that’s over 120 F because it can scald.

Remember to also wash decorative pillows. Finish by adding allergy-proof casings to the mattress, box spring and pillows. Keep pets out of the bedroom as their dander can cause symptoms to flare.

Step 2: Gaze out, but don’t open.

Window treatments are a magnet for dust and allergens. Pull them down and dry clean, or vacuum each thoroughly. Don’t forget to vacuum blinds and windowsills as well. Tempted to open the windows to let the spring breeze in? Don’t. Unwanted pollen can enter your home and spread everywhere.

Step 3: When the dust settles, wipe it off.

Suit up to win the war on dust by wearing protective gloves and a face mask so you don’t breathe in microscopic mold spores. Next, ditch cotton cloths and feather dusters that kick up allergens, and instead use microfiber cleaning cloths which trap and remove triggers. Wipe down all surfaces including picture frames, knickknacks, plant saucers and ceiling fans.

Step 4: Nature abhors a vacuum. You shouldn’t.

Move all furniture, and vacuum the dust and dander that collects underneath. Use a cyclonic vacuum, which spins dust and dirt away from the floor, or a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. Additionally, clean vents and return registers to limit dust recirculating. Consider shampooing carpets to remove deeply embedded allergens.

Step 5: Scrub-a-dub the mold.

In bathrooms, basements and tiled spaces, scrub any visible mold and mildew from surfaces with bleach, or borax mixed with water, then dry completely. The key to reducing mold is moisture control, so use bathroom fans and clean any standing water immediately. You can also help ward off mold by keeping home humidity below 50 percent.

Step 6: Change is good—for filters.

Keep the air that circulates through your home’s ventilation system clean by using filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Change the filter at the change of every season, or every three months. (Set a calendar reminder to remember). Additionally, change filters in HEPA appliances. This helps eliminate allergens, and prohibits mold growth.

Step 7: Get out! And about.

Check your home’s exterior for any concerns that may have emerged due to cold weather. Chipped paint, roof damage or cracked siding can lead to mold problems. Make repairs as necessary.

These seven spring cleaning steps may take a few weekends to complete, but they’ll help reduce allergens all season long. For more information, or to find an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

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