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As much as you (or your kids) want to sleep with the family cat or dog, the experts say skip it. Snuggling up with all that fur (and dander—dried skin, hair, and saliva—which is the real allergen) can cause sniffles even in folks who aren't highly allergic. What's the difference between an allergy and a cold? It's a good bet your child is allergic to your pet if he or she sneezes and has a runny nose for three weeks or more, says William Calhoun, M.D., director of allergy, pulmonary, immunology, critical care and sleep at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
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