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When your child’s wellness is affected with allergies, you can hear some confusing and crazy theories about everything from hypoallergenic dogs to ADHD. But are these theories fact or fiction? Guard your child’s wellbeing against the confusion, and be in-the-know about allergy myths.
Firstly, if your child with allergies is a dog lover, you may be tempted to get a hypoallergenic dog. However, the sad fact of the matter is that there really is no such thing. At some point, the myth arose that certain short-haired breeds were hypoallergenic because they had hair, not fur. Others have perpetrated the notion that you can become sensitised and therefore not allergic to your own pet, even if you still have symptoms when you’re around other dogs.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suggest that either of these theories is true. People react to dogs because of proteins which all dogs have, albeit possibly in varying amounts. Your child may become tolerant to these proteins and have no more symptoms, but this will be the case with all dogs – not special hypoallergenic ones or your own pet specifically. Analysis has shown that some breeds of dog incur a slightly more allergenic response than others, but this isn’t significant.
Another common myth that has done the rounds is toxic mould. About 10 years ago, some Ohio babies died from pulmonary haemorrhage, which is quite rare. Doctors at the time thought that the infants’ deaths were due to so-called toxic mould found in their homes, but this was subsequently refuted. Toxic mould is a misnomer as term. Yes, black mould could cause your child to have an allergenic or asthmatic response, but your child would have to either ingest the mould or directly inhale it on a 24-7 basis in order to experience toxic effects.
Finally, there is currently no evidence linking allergies to autism or ADHD, no matter what other worried parents might say. Anecdotal reports of food reactions, such as “but it makes him so…” have fuelled this myth, but when there is absolutely no scientific basis for the assertion and no correlation with your child’s allergies. Parents could be looking for a reason why a difficult diagnosis may have occurred, but a lot of the “science” they turn to, such as Andrew Wakefield’s controversial paper on the vaccine-autism connection, has actually been fabricated.