Even though some children with allergies only experience seasonal allergies with allergy symptoms once the grass, pollen or mold count are elevated in the fall or spring, some have year round allergies. While most of the triggers that cause seasonal allergies are present outdoors, children with year round or perennial allergies might be allergic to indoor allergens including animal dander, dust mites, indoor mold and even cockroaches.
If a child has year round allergies or other types of allergic conditions such as eczema or asthma, it is recommended to allergy-proof the house with the following tips.
Even if the house is regularly maintained to be free from dust, it is quite easy to miss out on areas that are out of reach, including the top part of ceiling fan blades, surfaces of high bookcases, air vents and other furniture pieces. It is not ideal to use the ceiling fan since dust mites are likely to trigger indoor allergies once they are distributed and become airborne.
In addition, it is vital to regularly replace the filters in the air conditioning or heating system in the house.
Low spaces or areas in the house are potential areas where dust mites can accumulate, particularly carpeted flooring. If possible, it is recommended to remove the carpets and replace the flooring with vinyl, wood or tile.
In case removing the carpeting is not an option, vacuum on a weekly basis using a specific vacuum type or vacuum bag that traps dust mites. In addition, it is recommended to vacuum while the allergic individual is away since it can push the dust mites into the air for a short time, thus worsening the indoor allergies. Always bear in mind that vacuuming will only eradicate the surface dust mites and it is not possible to completely remove them all from the carpet.
If the child engages in certain activities on the floor, it is best to let him/her lie or sit on a plastic pad or washable rug. Make sure that it is washed every week using hot water.
It might come as a surprise but the bed is probably the biggest source of dust mites. This is due to the fact that children spend a lot of time in their beds and dust mites thrive in mattresses and pillows.
Since mattresses or pillows could not be easily washed, it is recommended to encase or trap the dust mites using an allergen-proof cover on the mattress, box spring and pillows. These are usually made out of vinyl or a semipermeable fabric. In addition, you have to wash the pillow case and other bedding in hot water weekly.
Aside from the bed, dust mites can thrive in upholstered furniture. With this in mind, it is recommended to replace them with leather, vinyl or wood furniture. In addition, the child should sit or lie down on furniture that is not upholstered.