Allergic to School?
As the new school year begins, many children
may feel like they are allergic to school. However, there's a chance
that your child actually is. If school makes your child feel ill,
don't simply discount it as the end-of-summer-blues. The classroom
is a new environment, with new allergens and irritants. These can
cause new symptoms – or familiar ones – such as sneezing, runny nose
and nasal congestion, eye irritation, headaches. These symptoms can
lead to irritability, exhaustion, and trouble concentrating.
Some allergens commonly found at school include:
- chalk dust
- dust mites
- animal dander and allergens from classroom pets
- irritants and by-products from new construction – dust, odors,
and the chemicals in new carpeting and flooring
- air fresheners, colognes and perfumes, and other artificial
You do your best to make your home clean and
allergy-free, but you have less control over the school environment.
So what can you do? First, you have to think like a detective,
asking questions and paying attention to triggers – carefully
evaluate what could be causing your child's symptoms. Second, make a
plan. Anticipate that there will be new allergens present, and talk
with your child about ways to avoid them. Here are a few tips for
parents, children, and teachers, for a healthy and allergy-free
What parents and children can do to avoid school
- If you suspect that your child is allergic to something at
school, try taking a tour of their school and class room. The
offending allergen might be hard to identify, but easy to spot
once you're there.
- Visit an allergist or immunologist if you haven't already.
They can advise you on appropriate medication, immunotherapy,
and prevention techniques.
- Ask your child about classroom pets. Hamsters and gerbils can
cause allergy symptoms too.
- If your child comes home from school with nasal congestion,
make sure their symptoms are alleviated before bedtime. A stuffy
nose can keep your child from sleeping properly, hindering their
performance in school the next day.
- When playing outside at school, children should avoid fields
and weeds, which may harbor large amounts of pollen,
particularly during the fall ragweed season.
- Talk to teachers about what they can do to help. Communicating
your concerns and some ideas for a more allergy-free classroom
may help your child, and his or her classmates as well. Maintain
a supportive, communicative relationship with your child's
What teachers can do to avoid school allergy
- Make sure that dust does not accumulate in the classroom.
- Keep classroom windows closed, since pollen can come in from
- Chalk dust can trigger allergies or irritate symptoms. If you
use a chalkboard, allergic children should not sit in the front
- Choose your classroom pet carefully. Consider an aquarium or a
- If you have a chemically sensitive child in your class, choose
craft projects that don't use known irritants.
- For pre-schoolers who sometimes take naps at school, any
pillows provided should have allergy-proof dust mite encasings.
- Cleaning with harsh chemical solutions should be done after
hours or at night, when no children are in the classroom.
- Speak to your school administrator about purchasing a
classroom air purifier. It will help everyone breathe better.
A Note About Mold
Mold can cause
allergic symptoms, and some types of mold can also be a dangerous
health concern. Mold problems have forced many districts to shut
down schools and spend millions on repairs.
Mold allergy symptoms
can include aggravation of asthma, cold and flu like symptoms, eye
irritation, nasal congestion, headaches, and fatigue. If you suspect
that your school has a mold problem, it is important for school
administration to address this issue. More information on the risks
and prevention of harmful mold can be found at the OSHA
(Occupational Safety and Health Administration) website.
What's New at achoo!
Have you visited achooallergy.com recently? Come check out
our newly re-designed website. We've simplified some things
and added others, making the products you want easier to
find with just a few clicks. Be certain to visit frequently
in the coming months, as we will be adding great new
products and informative articles. In celebration, we've
decided to give the achoo! review a little face-lift. Have a
wonderful, healthy, allergy-free September!
Allergy Tips for September
For allergy sufferers, fall can be a rough time. Dust mite
populations peak during the summer months, thriving on
humidity. Ragweed season also stretches from August to
October, causing pollen allergy flair-ups that can make life a
little less than pleasant. And, high humidity over the summer
may have caused mold growth in your home, sparking mold
How to keep these common allergens in check:
1. Encase all bedding with dust mite proof
2. Wash all bedding -- sheets, blankets,
pillow cases, duvet covers – in hot water (140' degrees) and
dry on high. Or, use a detergent or laundry additive
specially formulated to eliminate dust mites in any
3. Treat carpeting and upholstered furniture
with dust mite sprays and powders.
4. Purify the air with
a HEPA air purifier to remove pollen grains, dust mites, and
5. Vacuum frequently using a HEPA filtered
6. Remove any visible mold growth using a
strong cleaner, and coat any mold-prone surfaces with
mildew-proof coating to prevent mold growth in the future.
M1 House Wash
The Cleaner to End All Cleaners
This cleaner is so amazingly versatile, you
can use it on practically every surface. And, it's excellent
for removing mold and mildew. Water-reducible, odorless,
biodegradable, industrial strength. It's great so for many
applications – use it to remove mold and mildew build-ups,
than do some back-to-school cleaning.
Mite-T-Fast Allergen Detection
Bring Dust Mites
The humid months of
summer are when dust mite populations peak. So, if you're
worried about dust mites, there's certainly no better time.
The Mite-T-Fast Allergen Detection system enables you to quit
worrying and start acting against dust mites. You can test the
level of dust mite allergens inside your home, on surfaces
like carpets, furniture, and bedding. Get results in just 10
$499.99 - $569.99
Blueair 501 Air Purifier
Stylish, Energy Efficient, and Whisper
Suffering from pollen allergies even inside the house?
You need an air purifier to keep the air in your home clean
and breathable. A Blueair air purifier will remove pollen,
alleviating ragweed allergy symptoms. And it also removes
other airborne particles like dust mites, bacteria, pet
dander, and mold spores, so you can eliminate lots of nasty
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