Allergies and Asthma
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My youngest child had asthma and was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia each year of his life until age five. It was a scary time. I could manage him at home to a point, and then he would need to be admitted for dehydration or steroids.
It was really important to find out what my child was allergic to and then avoid that as much as possible. As he grew older, the infections lessened and his allergies did improve. I would say that many children have reactions to foods, pets and chemicals in our environment, and we do not even know what they are! If you know a good allergist, that is a blessing. Once a child with allergy issues is exposed to viruses on top of that, the child can quickly develop a bad illness.
I tried to make sure all my kids were sleeping well, ate a well-balanced diet and minimized their stress. I acted quickly when I noticed they were congested from a cold or getting overtired to help prevent complications from an upper respiratory infection turning into ear infections or worse. We had a steam shower, and I would put the kids in swimsuits so we could sit together in the steam room. I would try to lavage their noses with saline but that was more challenging.
—Laura M. Rosch, DO, a mom of a 12-year-old daughter and 7-year old boy/girl twins, a board-certified internist who works at Central DuPage Hospital Convenient Care Centers in Winfield, IL, and an instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Downers Grove, IL
* * *
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My kids had seasonal allergies. I addressed the problem by cleaning up the environment. I removed as many carpets as possible in our home and replaced them with washable floors. I removed as many fabric curtains as reasonable and replaced them with washable blinds. I covered the mattresses and pillowcases with allergy covers. I kept pets out of the bedrooms. (No exceptions!) I also kept the furnace filters clean.
Then we cleaned up our diet. I bought organic foods, avoided processed artificial foods, and tried to rotate foods. Back then not many people believed in a relationship between foods and allergies and asthma, but now it is proven. Allergies to fish, nuts, milk, pork, and other foods are well known.
In addition to cleaning our home environment and cleaning up our diet, I also would wash my child’s nose. I understood that allergy/asthma episodes always began with a snotty nose, so washing it made sense. Now we know that rinsing with the correct solution will remove 80 percent of the allergens!
Cleaning the environment and the diet and the nose help decrease the toxic load on the body.
—Hana R. Solomon, MD, a mom who raised four children, a grandmom of three, a board-certified pediatrician, the president of BeWell Health, LLC, and the author of Clearing The Air One Nose At A Time, Caring For Your Personal Filter, in Columbia, MO