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Parenting Tip of the Day: Feb. 20

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Is your child wheezing, and having shortness of breath and labored breathing — often exacerbated by cold air, humidity and/or exercise? It could be allergies, so get ready to record all symptoms and when they occur.

Though many children who wheeze don’t necessarily have asthma, and many children with asthma don’t always wheeze, wheezing is usually a good predictor of an allergy, Dr. Zave Chad, of The Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation in Ottowa, told Todaysparent.com. If it looks like your child is working really hard to get air in and out — lungs are hyper-inflating, shoulders and chest puff up like a football player — this might be a trademark clue.

“Keep a diary of symptoms,” Chad recommends. “A thorough history is the best diagnostic tool.” For treatment, there are two main types of meds: Relievers (known as bronchodilators) work to open the lungs, while over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds (called preventer/controllers) can be used as needed, during allergy season, for instance, to open airways and relieve symptoms. Please see your doctor to determine the right course of treatment for your child.”

Related: Yes, Your Baby Should Eat Peanuts

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