Allergies are one of the most often reported conditions in children and do often begin in childhood. There are some ways to make the home healthier and prevent some allergies, or at least alleviate them. Here are a few:
1. Clean it – Dust and dust mites can aggravate allergies. Clean with a good vacuum cleaner on a regular basis, especially if there are pets in the home and/or carpet. Dust on a regular basis, too. The less chemicals used the better while cleaning. Look for “green” cleaners or use some of the newer dust cloths that don’t require spray. Steam cleaning is also a great way to clean allergy free.
2. Keep the windows and doors shut during high allergy/pollen season – Though it is tempting to enjoy the spring or fall days with open windows and doors, it just lets the pollen in. Keep them shut.
3. Watch the toys – Of course, kids do love stuffed animals, but remember they harbor dust. Try to find non allergenic stuffed toys that can be cleaned on a regular basis (hot water is best if possible).
4. Use hypoallergenic bed clothes – Try to avoid down and feather pillows and comforters. Many pillows, mattress covers and comforters are made from hypoallergenic materials. People are also turning to organic cotton or bamboo sheets that are free of chemicals and pesticides.
5. Use “clean” in the laundry – Many of us do it for our babies, and as they get older, we forget. But there is a reason we wash baby clothes in gentle, chemical free detergent – it is less irritating. Try to use free and clean laundry detergent, the same with fabric softeners if you use them. There are more and more products on the market to choose from as people want what is safe.
6. Limit mold growth – Mold isn’t just in the shower or bathtub edges. It can grow in moist basements, even around leaky faucets in the sinks or leaky pipes. Fix any leaks and make sure the humidity in the home does not get to high (under 50 % is good).
7. Limit allergen absorbing surfaces – Limit the use of things like drapes, tablecloths, even throw pillows and blankets.
8. Clean the pets – Even people with allergies can share their home with pets. Keep the pets clean with bathing and brushing them often. Don’t let them sleep in beds or get on upholstered furniture.
9. Use an air cleaner – These filter out dust, pollen and other allergens from the air. Whether you put one in every room or just the main rooms, it will help.
Any of these will help make the home more allergy free and be a better place for young children. The more that can be done, the better, but every little bit helps.