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Posted: 9/11/2010 7:08:29 AM EDT
Question for everyone-We just found out that our 6 month old is moderately allergic to our dogs. In order to try and stem the effects of the dog hair on the poor kid, we are looking at our options such as plug in HEPA filters and better filters for the AC system. Anyone have any tips that worked well for you (Or didn't)?

Also, as mentioned, looking at HEPA filters, specificallyhttp://www.amazon.com/Surround-Air-XJ-3800-Intelli-Pro-Purifier/dp/B000HVTC5G/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1284217358&sr=8-8

Just want some first hand from the site that knows everything...thanks guys!
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:20:40 AM EDT
The filters will help, but I'm afraid unless you want your kid to get a series of painful shots your dog needs to become an outside dog. If that's not possible, then the dog needs to go.

When you're allergic to animals living in the same house as a dog is roughly the same as living in a house with a smoker: The kid is going to be at higher risk for respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:37:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 7:37:19 AM EDT by the_naked_prophet]
Your kid needs to be exposed to allergens now, so he doesn't develop asthma later. The more allergens kids are exposed to when they're young, the less things they are allergic to when they're older. An allergy is essentially your immune system overreacting to something benign it thinks is a threat. The kid will get over it. You should also get a cat, and take the kid to visit a farm and come into contact with various farm animals. The more germs (not the kind that could make him seriously ill, just natural stuff that adults deal with every day) that you expose the kid to, the better his immune system will learn what is and isn't a threat.

The worst thing you can do for your kid is to completely sterilize his environment with HEPA air filters and things like that. If your kid grows up in a bubble, the first time he gets around a dog or a cat or a germ, he's going to be miserable.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:40:38 AM EDT
Yeah, and according to some research they should give him intestinal worms, too.

I think the best idea would be to go to an MD who specializes in allergies and get a full screen of what he's allergic to.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:44:19 AM EDT
Better than some filter fan sitting in the corner, you need to vacuum DAILY with a HEPA vacuum. This will do more benefit, along with weekly dusting to clean any dander off surfaces and furniture.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:48:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By the_naked_prophet:
Your kid needs to be exposed to allergens now, so he doesn't develop asthma later. The more allergens kids are exposed to when they're young, the less things they are allergic to when they're older. An allergy is essentially your immune system overreacting to something benign it thinks is a threat. The kid will get over it. You should also get a cat, and take the kid to visit a farm and come into contact with various farm animals. The more germs (not the kind that could make him seriously ill, just natural stuff that adults deal with every day) that you expose the kid to, the better his immune system will learn what is and isn't a threat.

The worst thing you can do for your kid is to completely sterilize his environment with HEPA air filters and things like that. If your kid grows up in a bubble, the first time he gets around a dog or a cat or a germ, he's going to be miserable.



I hate giving anecdotal accounts as evidence, but this worked for me. My parents did everything they could to keep the home sterile for me when I was a kid, only allowed non-shedding small dogs, A/C, filters, etc. Every time I went outside I was miserable. When I was a 18-20 year old Claritin came out and was moderately successful at suppressing symptoms, but I could still be nearly incapacitated by allergy symptoms on a high pollen day or cat dander.

I now live on a hobby farm with animals and chickens and no A/C, windows open all summer, shedding dogs, basically the "worst" environment imaginable for someone with allergies, and I rarely if ever get symptoms any more. In fact, I can pet cats, throw hay up in the mow, and cut the grass, all of which would have made me miserable previously, with no ill effect today.

I don't recommend this kind of exposure to allergens to an infant or toddler however, because young children's reactions are unpredictable and can be serious. I would get central A/C and filters and at least segregate the dog outside until the kid is 6-8 years old before slowly introducing him to things that he is allergic to.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 7:52:21 AM EDT
If the dogs do not go outside it will be a never ending battle.

Tear out the carpets.
Dog are a no go in the kid's room.
Have your duct work cleaned or you will just be wasting filters on crap that is in them.

ymmv

my .02
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 8:09:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2010 8:10:31 AM EDT by Dave45]
Originally Posted By the_naked_prophet:
Your kid needs to be exposed to allergens now, so he doesn't develop asthma later. The more allergens kids are exposed to when they're young, the less things they are allergic to when they're older. An allergy is essentially your immune system overreacting to something benign it thinks is a threat. The kid will get over it. You should also get a cat, and take the kid to visit a farm and come into contact with various farm animals. The more germs (not the kind that could make him seriously ill, just natural stuff that adults deal with every day) that you expose the kid to, the better his immune system will learn what is and isn't a threat.

The worst thing you can do for your kid is to completely sterilize his environment with HEPA air filters and things like that. If your kid grows up in a bubble, the first time he gets around a dog or a cat or a germ, he's going to be miserable.


Worst advice ever.

Go to a doctor and listen to what he or she says. Electrostatic air filters help a lot. Just don't get anything that produces ozone - it only makes things worse. Allergy shots will gradually help, but keeping the environment as allergen free as reasonably possible at such an age is a must. Do what you need to do to let her grow help healthy and take care of it the right way.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:17:55 AM EDT
we were in the exact same situation as you ...

we put a big noisy hepa filter in the room, vacuumed daily, washed his bed stuff frequently and bought him a new pillow every few months ...

he's 11 years old now and sleeps every night with our lab pit cross ...

we took the filter out of his room at 8 and he's been fine since then ...

we have two dogs in the house now

good luck
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