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Parent to Parent: Allergies and asthma in kids
Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent: Allergies and asthma in kids

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Q • We have three kids under the age of 10 who seem to always be coughing and sneezing and sometimes have a runny nose. We’ve asked their pediatrician about it, but his answers are different during various times throughout the year. Other than taking them in for allergy shots, which two of the three have done to no avail, what’s the difference between an air purifier and a humidifier, which he’s also recommended?

From a reader • My children also experience allergies, which often lead to asthma. An air purifier, especially medical grade, has made a huge difference in their lives. I also use a cold air humidifier, as recommended by their doctor; more so in the summer. I would suggest that you ask your children’s doctor to explain his recommendations for each child in terms that you can better understand. Sometimes, doctors think as a parent, we should already know or at least understand their advice. Basically, this is not true unless we have a medical background. To get to the bottom of the situation, you’ll have to ask him point blank questions about what it is that you’re confused about down to the nitty-gritty details. This is what I did and am still doing to this day. — Nori B. in New Jersey, Pennsylvania

From Jodie Lynn • Two of my children had allergies and asthma when they were younger. Both went to allergy specialists for four years each, so I’ve been through it and understand your concerns.

One required a cold air humidifier, and the other a hot mist humidifier. Both had to have an air purifier.

As far as an allergy specialist not working for two of your children, it may be time to try a new one before giving up.

Allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett of New York is well aware that there has been an increase in allergies and asthma over the past several decades due to a wide array of possibilities including the “hygiene hypothesis,” where children and parents are over-sanitizing their environment, which leads to a decreased disease resistance, as well as many other attributes. His book, “The New Allergy Solution: Supercharge Resistance, Slash Medication, Stop Suffering,” may have information that would be helpful to you and your family.

In today’s society, one of our challenges is the higher use of sanitizing, plus, there seems to be quite a bit more pollen each year in just about any state or city people live in; some are more prevalent than others.

With these two elements of change, it would only make sense that you should be constantly talking with your children’s doctors to help get the best help for each one.

Can you help?

For the most part during this pandemic, I’ve been the one to work from home while my husband has worked outside the home. We have four kids and I have put much effort into trying my best to help them and provide support for home learning. I’m exhausted and getting angrier by the moment. He thinks because I don’t have to get dressed and travel to and from work that I should be happy in the current situation. How can I get him to understand that he can at least help out in simple ways that would make a big difference for me personally as well as in our relationship?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email:, or go to, which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.

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