As we discussed before, the best way to avoid allergic reactions is to reduce your exposure to the substance that you’re allergic to (known as the ‘allergen’). To ensure that you or your child live in an environment as allergen-free as possible, here are some environmental control tips you can practice for certain allergen types:
- Say good bye to feather or down pillows and comforters. Switch to synthetic polyester-fill. Cover your pillows and mattresses with dust-mite proof covers (easily available at many stores). Vacuum or wipe clean the covers every week.
- Use very hot water to wash the sheets and blankets to kill the dust mites.
- Carpeting and upholstered furniture should not be used in your child’s bedroom or playroom as they can both collect dust (and therefore dust mites) over time.
- Your curtains, rugs and throws should all be washable. Use hot water.
- Clean and vacuum as often as you can.
- Unfortunately, stuffed toys can also be hazardous to your child if they are allergic to dust mites. Allow your child to only keep a few washable stuffed toys and, even then, you will need to wash them weekly to ensure that they remain clean and free of dust mites.
- Air filters (such as HEPA or electrostatic filters) can be used around the house to reduce dust mite allergens. Choose an air filter size that’s big enough to cover the whole room.
- Moist air allows for dust mite infestation. So don’t use humidifiers.
POLLEN AND MOLD
- Humidifiers also assist in mold growth so that’s another reason to stop using them.
- Mold is most likely to grow in dark and moist places like the basement. By utilizing good ventilation and keeping the light on, you can reduce mold growth.
- Use air conditioners around the house as they reduce moisture, keep the pollen out and circulate the air.
- Windows and doors should be kept shut during pollen season.
- Mold in bathrooms and other places can be killed by using a weak bleach solution.
- Wallpapers and carpeting should be avoided in rooms like the bathroom as mold can grow under them making it hard for you to know its there or remove it.
By using environmental control methods and making your home an allergen-free zone, you can make life a lot easier for yourself, your child or anyone else in the family who has an allergy. Join us next week to find out how you can reduce exposure to some other allergen types.