Friday, May 24, 2013

How Know If My Infant Is Allergic To Felines

How Can I Tell If My Infant Is Allergic to Cats?

When you introduced your infant to your feline, chances are you were hoping for an instant bond. You wanted your new baby and your old "baby," the cat, to become friends for life. Instead, you have a baby who coughs, sniffles and sneezes at the mere sight of the kitty. Could your infant be allergic to cats? While it may be difficult to determine, there are a few methods that can help you diagnose your infant.

Monitor Behavior

It is often difficult to distinguish a cold from a pet allergy. Pay close attention to your infant's symptoms and notice when they occur to determine if your baby is allergic to your cat, suggests BabyCenter. Does it seem like your infant is always sick? Colds typically disappear in about a week to 10 days; if the symptoms persist beyond that time frame, it could be due to an allergy. In addition, watch any other behavior-chronic coughing, breathing through the mouth and constant wiggling and wiping are also signs of allergy.

Look at the skin of your infant. A dark, purple or blue appearance under the eyes-often called allergic shiners-can appear in infants who have pet allergies. Skin that is irritated or broken out can indicate an allergy, as can red, watery eyes and a clear, thin nasal drainage.

It may be difficult to determine the culprit of your infant's symptoms without the help of a doctor. Unfortunately, removing your kitty from the environment and watching to see if your infant's symptoms improve isn't always conclusive, states BabyCenter. The cat's dander can stay in the environment for as long as a year after the cat is removed. However, if you and your infant spend a significant amount of time away from the cat-about a week or so-and the condition improves, you may have an answer.

Visit the Doctor

Take your infant to the pediatrician if you are unsure if he is suffering from a pet allergy. The doctor can perform blood testing that measure IgE, or allergy, levels in the baby. The pediatrician may also refer you to an allergist for more extensive diagnostics, including skin testing.

Manage Allergies

Unfortunately, the only way to completely eliminate your infant's pet allergies is removing the pet, according to BabyCenter. However, the allergies may be better managed by frequently washing your cat to remove the dander. Use a shampoo designed for the reduction of pet dander and keep your cat out of your child's room and off of furniture. Frequent vacuuming may also reduce the amount of dander in the environment.

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