A baby’s health is important. It is even more important to take care of them properly because they are more prone to the attacks of disease causing microorganisms. This is due to the fact that their immunity is still in the developing stage. It is not properly developed. Some of the diseases that a baby should be taken care of are described here.
An allergy is an immune reaction to a substance in the environment called an allergen.
When a child with allergies comes into contact with an allergen (the allergy causing substance) — either by touching it, breathing it, eating it, or having it injected — her body mistakes it as a dangerous invader and releases histamines and other chemicals to fight it off. These chemicals irritate the body and cause symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching, and coughing. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. In some cases, an allergen can lead to a severe reaction known as anaphylactic shock. This condition is a medical emergency and can be life-threatening.
A child inherits the tendency to be allergic but not necessarily the specific allergies. The probability jumps to 75 to 80 percent when both biological parents have allergies. Family members may differ widely in the kinds of things they're allergic to. Besides, babies and toddlers are most likely to be allergic to:
• Dust mites — microscopic organisms that thrive on human skin flakes.
• Animal dander —white, flaky specks made up of skin and hair that cat, dogs, and other furry animals shed.
• Mold — fungi found in wet, damp places such as bathrooms and basements.
• Some children are allergic to feather pillows or wool blankets.
• Tobacco smoke can also make their allergic symptoms grow worse.
Because the symptoms of nasal allergies are much like cold symptoms — runny nose, watery eyes, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing — it can be tough to tell the difference between the two. However, if the baby is suffering from an allergic reaction, the following signs will be prominent and show that the baby is allergic to something in her environment:
- Colds usually come down in a week to ten days; allergies don't.
- Baby’s nose is continuously runny or stuffy.
- The baby is showing the allergic salute; i.e., she is constantly wiggling, wiping, or pushing her nose up.
- The mucus that drains from baby nose is clear and thin (as opposed to yellow or greenish and thick).
- The baby sneezes a lot.
- Her eyes are itchy, red and watery.
- The skin under her eyes look dark, purple or blue (allergic shiners).
- The baby breathes through her mouth.
- The baby has a dry cough.
- The baby’s skin is irritated or broken out in an itchy red rash.
Kids with nasal allergies are also more prone to ear infections, asthma, and sinus infections. If any of the above conditions are observed in a child, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician.
Protection of the Babies against the Allergies:
The best way to protect a baby against allergy is to reduce their exposure to the allergic substance.
Dust mites live in fabrics and carpets and are common in every room of the house. But children are usually exposed to the most dust mites in the bedroom, where mattresses and pillows are veritable dust-mite condos. To prevent against the dust mite:
• Encase the baby's mattress in an impenetrable cover made of very tightly woven fabric, found at allergy supply stores.
• Avoid big, fluffy comforters and use blankets instead.
• Wash bedding once a week in hot water (around 130 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill dust mites.
• Avoid piling up stuffed animals in the baby's room — they're dust-mite magnets. Wash the few of the favorite baby’s toys in hot water weekly or stick them in the freezer for an overnight killing frost.
• Dust and vacuum weekly or every other week, but make sure the baby isn't in the room when doing it. Dusting and vacuuming stir up residual dust-mite particles in the room. Wet mopping can help prevent this.
• Prefer buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filter, which traps even microscopic particles that pass right through ordinary vacuum cleaners.
• In case of a severe dust mite allergy, replace carpeting with a smooth floor like hardwood or vinyl.
• Clean or replace filters on the furnace and air conditioners monthly during seasons they're in use. Have heating ducts cleaned each fall.
• In case of a baby is allergic to a pet, the only foolproof solution is to keep the animal away. However, this is not a easy decision to make.
• To keep the dander down, wash the pet frequently with shampoos that reduce dander in the pet store.
• Keep the pet off the furniture and out of the baby's room.
• Use a dehumidifier and air conditioner when the weather is warm and moist, especially in a wet basement or other areas of the home where mold growth is a problem.
• Clean the bathroom regularly with mold-inhibiting disinfectants, such as a little bleach and water or a natural solution like tea tree oil and water. And consider investing in a better ventilation system.
• Take proper steps to prevent the growth of mold in closets, attics, cellars, planters, refrigerators, shower stalls, and garbage cans, under carpets and other furniture.