Does your child develop breathing issues, itchy eyes or irritated skin whenever they are around the family pet? If so, it could be that they are suffering from a pet allergy.
With cats and dogs, this is typically caused from pet dander. This is made up of tiny flecks of skin that get coated in a protein allergen found in their saliva when they groom themselves.
Whilst this protein is harmless, your child’s immune system can mistakenly read it as a threat, ultimately leading to them experiencing an allergic reaction.
This could range from sneezing, coughing and wheezing, through to red, watery and itchy eyes. It can exacerbate asthma and hay fever symptoms, or cause eczema to flare up.
Pet dander can be quite difficult to clear from your home. This is because it can become airborne and build up on sofas, curtains and dusty areas. It can also be picked up and moved around on clothing and build up in pet beds and crates.
But is not just pet dander that can cause an allergic reaction. Pet hair can also cause a problem for asthma, eczema or hay fever sufferers as it can carry other airborne allergens such as the house dust mite or pollen.
How to tackle a pet allergy at home
If you have developed an allergy to a pet in your home, then all is not lost. Here are several steps you can take to help minimize pet hair and dander:
1. Invest in a home air purifier that removes pet dander from the air. Products such as the Blue Pure 221 or Blue Pure 411 air purifiers can clean the air in a room five times an hour, leaving it virtually dander-free.
2. Dust surfaces in your home with a damp cloth as often as possible to wipe up dander and prevent it escaping to air.
3. Wash hard floor surfaces with hot, soapy water where possible to remove hair and dander or use laminate-friendly cleaning products on laminate floors.
4. Clean carpets regularly using a vacuum cleaner that contains a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air filter and will trap 99.97% of particulates 0.3 microns or larger, including pet dander.
5. Make sure any pet beds and bedding are cleaned regularly to remove pet dander, hair and urine.
6. Try to stop pets from sitting on beds, sofas and armchairs where hair and dander can easily accumulate.
By following these simple steps you can go a long way towards removing these irritants from your environment, creating a home where your kids and pets can live more happily side by side.