Getting control of allergies

  • Limit the number of carpets on the floor. Indoor allergens are very difficult to remove from carpets, and even if successfully removed, they quickly return.
  • If you have a basement, keep your child out of it. Most basements are damp even if there is no standing water in it. This damp environment is a great place for mold. Using a dehumidifier to keep the humidity below 50% may be an option as well.
  • Cover your child's mattress and boxspring with a vinyl case that zips up. These may range in price from $5-40 dollars, so shop around.
  • Remove cloth drapes or curtains from the child's bedroom and replace them with blinds
  • If possible, remove stuffed animals from the bed. If this just won't work with your child, have him pick just one and wash it often.
  • Wash the bed linens and stuffed animal in water that is hotter than 130oF. This kills dust mites.
  • And finally, if it's the family pet...ideally, giving away the pet would be the most optimal way of dealing with the problem. But when the pet is as much a part of the family as any member of the household, this may not be considered an option. A weekly bath for furry animals will decrease the amount of allergen (dander, skin cells, etc.) going into the air. And using an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate-arresting (HEPA) filter in rooms that have no carpeting may also decrease the amount of allergen floating in the air. Keep the pet out of the bed but also out of the bedroom at all times. The reason for this is that even in households that get rid of the furry pets, it may take several months before the level of allergen returns to normal. Therefore, even though the pet may not be in the bed itself, the dander will eventually float and settle on the bed if the pet is in the bedroom.
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