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Child Abuse

Allergic Reations and Child Abuse

02/10/2000

Question:

My question may seem trival compared to some you get but, I have a nephew who suffers from allergies, like me. He is 2 years old and his mother says he was tested and is allergic to many things including "severe allergies to cats and dogs". The problem is she is "bonding" him to a dog, and is then taking him to doctor`s because he "can`t hardly breathe". She is very weird and will not listen to reasonable people. What if anything can be done to help the poor guy? Being an allegy sufferer myself I think it is pure torture and abuse to subject him to this on purpose!

Answer:

If your nephew is allergic to cats and dogs, the best thing for him is to not be around these animals. The house needs to be thoroughly cleaned of all pet hair and dander. In addition, hypoallergenic mattress covers may also be helpful. If the family insists on keeping a dog, perhaps they can be convinced to switch to a hypoallergenic breed.

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Response by:

Robert Shapiro, MD
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati

Stephanie Zimmerman, MD
Fomerly, Fellow
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati