Allergies are caused due to the body’s reaction to any harmless substances. Most allergies in adults are easy to detect and identify while it is much more difficult to determine allergies in toddlers. Firstly, toddlers cannot communicate very clearly with their parents; they interact with a large number of unusual things, eat odd things without our knowledge, and rub strange things on their bodies.
Allergies to pets are very common among toddlers, children and even adults. Cat allergies in toddlers once detected need to be prevented and treated immediately. But, how do you know whether your toddler is allergic to cats and what are the factors which can determine cat allergies.
What is a Pet Allergy?
Pet allergy is a reaction by the immune system when the body comes in contact with saliva, urine, skin flakes, or feces. Whenever a toddler or child comes in contact with anyone of these allergens, the immune system goes into an alert mode and the body releases histamine and more than 40 different chemicals to fight the allergens.
Whenever the toddler comes in contact with any of these allergens the histamine causes inflammation of nose and the air passage leading to mild or severe allergic reactions. The symptoms are watery eyes, runny nose, itching, continuous sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and symptoms of asthma. It has been noticed that most asthma has its origins in childhood and are triggered by pets. Any animal that is raised as pets like cats can cause severe allergic reactions in toddlers who are prone to cat allergy.
Main Causes of Cat Allergies
Cats and dogs are both very popular as pets. Cat allergies are one of the most common allergies affecting toddlers. Most of us believe that the fur and hair of pets are the prime cause for allergies, but the real problem lies in the cats saliva, urine, and skin flakes. It is the protein that is present in these allergens that triggers allergic reactions in toddlers. Cat allergy is triggered by the presence of cat in your home or around your home. If you notice the toddler sneezing, struggling to breathe, his face turns red and starts crying when the cat is in his room then you can be almost certain of allergy. The toddler will experience the allergic symptoms even when the cat is not in the room since the allergen can be found throughout the house. The symptoms of cat allergy might develop within a few minutes or hours after coming in contact with the allergen.
How to identify Toddler Allergies
The best way to identify cat allergies in toddlers is by conducting an allergy test. You need to take your toddler to a pediatrician who will suggest, monitor and conduct an allergy test. Some toddlers might experience rashes, and itching on their legs, feet and hands when they walk or rub themselves on surface that have come in contact with the cat. Once the allergy has been confirmed you can start the treatment immediately.
The proteins in the allergens are the main cause of allergic reactions in toddlers. People with allergy problems have a very sensitive immune system. Their bodies react differently when they come in contact with harmless things and react in such a way as if they have been attacked by a virus or a foreign invader.
Even if you do not suffer from cat allergy, but are allergic to other allergens, cats can still be carriers of other allergens like pollens, dust, molds and other allergens on their hair. Outdoor cats or pet cats that venture out are carriers of these allergens.
Treatment for Cat Allergies
Allergies are usually controlled with allergy medications. Your pediatrician will prescribe antihistamines, decongestants and other prescription drugs to control the symptoms of cat allergy. Allergy shots are also a good option, but are not suitable for toddlers.
Allergies cannot be completely treated, but can be prevented to some extent. You can prevent allergy to some extent by reducing the exposure to cats or any other pet that can trigger allergic reactions. This is one of the main reasons why most people avoid keeping pets at home where there are babies and toddlers around. The chances of developing allergies are more when you have pets around and this is the prime reason why many families avoid keeping pets at home and if your child has allergic tendencies the exposure to cats can worsen the problem.
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