Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/How To Manage Your Child’s Pet Allergies

How To Manage Your Child’s Pet Allergies

 

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According to research, humans are hardwired to pay attention, respond to, and be stimulated by animals. Caused by primitive relationships between predator and prey, people experience increased brain activity when confronted by animals, signalling the individual to run, hide or admire.

Though we no longer exist in drastic survival scenarios, the connection between animals and people very much remains. In fact, it’s deeper than ever, with many families having one, or more, pets in the home. While this may seem like a great idea, it does also inevitably lead us to greater exposure to animal allergens. This of course, puts our children at risk if they have pet allergies.

Today, it is estimated that close to 10% of the population is allergic to animals, while 20 – 30% of individuals with asthma report breathing difficulties, courtesy of animals. Pet exposure can cause sneezing and wheezing, as well as a runny or stuffy nose, chest tightness, shortness of breath, watery, red or itchy eyes, skin rash or hives.

Furry pets are among the most common and potent causes of allergy symptoms, however fur is not the only animal allergen. Even short-haired “non-shedding” animals leave a trail of dander, saliva and urine which can cause a reaction for those with allergies.

When to suspect your child has a pet allergy

The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, meaning if you or your partner have allergies, it’s important to watch closely for similar symptoms in your children. Even if you don’t have a history of allergies, it’s still a good idea to watch your kids closely before introducing a new family pet.

What causes a pet allergy?

The job of the immune system is to find foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. Normally the immune response protects us from dangerous diseases, but sometimes our immune systems can be over-sensitive, resulting in an allergy. From here, all it takes is a little cat or dog dander to land on the membranes lining the eyes and nose to cause reactions such as swelling and itching of the membranes, a stuffy nose, and inflamed eyes. A pet scratch or lick could cause the skin area to become red or inflamed, and when allergen particles are small enough to get into the lungs, the exposure can cause severe breathing problems.

A reaction could be evident after just minutes of allergen exposure, or could slowly develop over time.

How does a doctor diagnose a pet allergy?

A doctor will diagnose a pet allergy based on symptoms, a physical examination, medical and family history, and test results. Your doctor may suggest a blood test or skin test for accuracy. Your doctor may also suggest staying away from animals for a few days to see if symptoms persist.

What if you already have a pet?

If you discover your child is allergic to animals or your animal is wreaking havoc with their asthma, deciding whether to keep your pet is not an easy one. For many, a pet is like a child and saying goodbye to it in the name of your child’s health can be heartbreaking. The reality is however, if your child’s allergy is bad enough, keeping your pet outdoors is not always enough.

Allergies are caused by the body’s reaction to a protein found in animal dander (dead skin flakes), saliva, urine and feathers. An animal’s fur can collect dust mites, pollen, mold, and other allergens. In caged animals (such as hamsters, gerbils and birds), droppings can also attract mold and dust mites.

Because animal allergens are airborne, heating and ventilation systems will spread allergens throughout the house, even if the pet is kept out of the bedrooms or kept outdoors. Allergens can be carried on clothing, shoes, and stored in carpets, and detectable levels of pet allergens can be found in homes where no pets have lived for many years. Cat allergens can be particularly “sticky”, and it is said many schools carry traces of allergens due being carried in by students and teachers with a cat at home.

In short, managing a pet allergy takes a lot more than the simple closing of a door.

Tips for managing pet allergies in the home

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1. Keep pets outdoors, or to limited areas in the house

Shutting the doors to certain rooms can help keep allergens off rugs, carpets and upholstered furniture, but for severe allergies you might have to consider keeping your pet outdoors. After contact with your pet change your shoes and brush down your clothes before re-entering the home, if possible.

2. Keep pets out of bedrooms

Your child spends one-third of their time in the bedroom, so keep the bedroom door closed and clean it aggressively. You might also consider placing a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in the bedroom, which forces air through a fine mesh, trapping allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites.

3. Wash pets regularly

Bathing pets weekly can reduce the level of allergens on fur by as much as 84%, especially if your pet tends to shed a lot of dander or fur. A good homemade soap for dogs uses a combination of dishwashing soap, white vinegar and glycerin, and cat owners can get away with simple distilled water.

4. Comb and brush pets outside

Have someone other than your child brush and comb your pet’s hair regularly, and make sure it’s done outside or on hard floors. If inside, immediately sweep, mop or vacuum following your pets brushing.

5. Encourage regular hand hygiene

Training your allergic child to wash their hands regularly with soap and water will put them in good stead for managing their allergies. Be sure to wash their hands and arms immediately after coming into contact with animals.

6. Consider other pets

Managing allergies isn’t just about managing allergies in your own home. If you or your child go to a person’s house where there is contact with animal allergens, remove your clothes when returning home and wash them immediately. The same goes if you stop to pat the neighbour’s dog on the way home from school.

7. Brushing after the park

Sometimes your child’s reactions might not be to your pet’s, but to the allergens it brings home on its fur. After taking your dog to the park, give them a quick brush down to ensure any pollens and ragweed is removed.

8. Dust regularly

Dust frequently using a damp cloth, as this will prevent the release of particles into the home environment.

9. Clean litter boxes regularly

Litter boxes should be cleaned daily, and not by the person who is allergic. Following cleaning, wash your hands thoroughly.

10. Keep pets off furniture

Pets should be kept off furniture, especially if it’s upholstered. If they have a habit of sneaking on furniture when you are out, cover your furniture in dust cloths or washable throws.

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Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • Breast milk is the best for babies. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age-appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.
  • The content on this website is intended as general information for Singaporean residents only and should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice from your healthcare practitioner. According to recommendations from the Singapore Health Promotion Board, solid food should be given to babies only after 6 months.
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