Afraid a new pet could cause your child allergies? Well, scientific evidence has revealed quite the opposite. Many people believe that keeping a dog or cat in the home will increase the chances that their child will develop pet allergies. Yet to the contrary, the latest study, conducted by the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, reveals that children who are exposed to pets in their first year are less likely to develop allergies to dogs and cats later in life. Exposure to pets past a child’s infancy did not, however, appear to make a difference in whether or not the allergies developed. “The first year of life is the critical period during childhood when indoor exposure to dogs or cats influences sensitization to these animals,” concluded the authors of the study.
So go ahead, bring home that new dog or cat. Just make sure to be quick about it!