Tackling Pollen & Dust Allergies Starts With Home First
Created by Cheena M Gujral Updated on Feb 17, 2020
My son Vivaan (3-years-old) is an October born child - the month of great Indian festivities, which we all look forward to eagerly. I too was rejoicing in all the glory, until Vivaan’s first birthday.
It was exactly the day after his first birthday that also happened to be a week after Diwali. Out of nowhere, I found blisters on his limbs. They were almost on every ridge - from finger joints to all the way to the tip of the toes. The first thought that crossed my mind was allergy due to dust!
That is when I started looking for the best skin clinics and homoeopathy practitioners in the town. I was visiting the best of medical experts and they all diagnosed him with ‘allergy’. As a parent, I started despising the word ‘allergy’, it was cruel on my baby and it made him so restless. He would keep sneezing and coughing all throughout the day. And it was painful to see him like that. Additionally, Vivaan was born on the 37th week; so, he always had very sensitive skin. However, even this fact was an unacceptable generalisation for me.
Almost every week, I and my husband were visiting a new hospital or clinic, discussing Vivaan’s symptoms of itchy skin coupled with a dripping nose. And believe me, from Delhi to my maternal place, every doctor prescribed almost the same kinds of steroids and synonymous salts of antihistamines. It was growing awful for us and Vivaan. His irritability and allergic bouts were difficult to predict. I knew with all these medicines, we were just suppressing the issue, not curing it completely. But, what else could we have done for a couple of months old baby? We prayed hard and did everything in our capacity to make him feel better.
Yes, I did seek homoeopathy and other natural substitutes, which kind of reduced the griming effects of allergy. However, we had already crossed a year dealing with his susceptibility towards allergies.
One year went just like that and nothing had changed, except for my knowledge on hypersensitivity in early childhood. I got more into vacuuming couches and airing blankets. Also, sanitising Vivaan’s toys with much precision was part of my everyday task. Just to avoid that extra dose of dust, even the shoe racks got out of my house. These were just a few of our daily practices to keep allergies at bay. However, practically it’s not quite possible to get rid of indoor dust completely. Nonetheless, clean surroundings were still my main mantra.
Now, 17-month-old Vivaan had a sudden onset of skin irritation. He started scratching off his dermis with nails. It was a haunting experience for us. This episode urged me to go for an allergy test for my baby. And to our misfortune, my boy was tested positive to dust. Oh God! How could this tiny body be allergic to dust? In India, 70 percent of children are raised in rural backdrops, playing in the sun, soaking in mud and sand – they survive allergies. Then why my baby had to be allergic to dust? Why is Vivaan the odd one out? Countless thoughts like these clouded my mind.
Then one fine day, my cousin introduced me to a magical machine called – air purifiers. He said that these are specifically beneficial for people with allergies as air purifiers remove contaminants from the air. Using an air purifier for my child helped me create pure air chamber in my house. I could easily move it from the living room to our bedroom.
Over time, I have come to realise, air purifiers are a good option to create healthy environment indoors since outdoors are just not in our control anymore these days. Allergies are malfunctions which are difficult to be treated. The steroid readily available over the counters only beat down the allergy, they don’t cure it. On the other hand, air purifiers do the same without any harmful repercussions. They trap mites, dust or any kind of allergens lurking in the air.
So, mommies, take it from me – if your child is as sensitive as mine, an air purifier is a good precaution method. Infants and children mostly stay indoors, so be cautious with the allergens thriving at home first. Help your baby breathe in pure, clean air while sleeping or playing. At least, by doing this we can all take the first step towards fighting allergies.
Disclaimer: A message sponsored by Philips to help you breathe easy. Opinions expressed above are independent opinions of the author.