Make Your Child’s Room an Allergy-Free Zone This Winter

Keeping kids inside their rooms to escape the winter’s cold seems like a good idea, but parents may be unknowingly exposing children to allergy and asthma triggers. Winter weather means more time inside, and, for children with indoor allergies, it’s important that the many hours spent in the bedroom sleeping, playing, and doing homework are allergen-free. Indoor allergies can cause symptoms including stuffy or runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing, asthma, and skin rashes.

Studies have shown that avoidance measures can be just as effective as drug therapy for controlling these symptoms. We offer the following tips to help create an allergy-free zone and prevent sneezing and wheezing for the rest of the winter season:

Banish Clutter, Even Toys:

Piles of toys, stacks of books, or anything that can collect dust should be kept to a minimum. Consider storing books and toys in plastic containers with a lid and enlist kids to put items back after use.

Keep Fluffy & Fido Out:

Pet dander is a known asthma trigger, so declare the kids’ room(s) a pet-free zone. Also consider bathing pets once a week to reduce dander.

Limit Snacks to the Kitchen:

Crumbs can invite cockroaches to visit, even in the bedroom, and cockroach droppings can cause severe allergy and asthma symptoms. Since they require food and moisture to survive, having a food-free policy in your child’s room can keep these pests away.

Sweep Away Symptoms:

If there is carpet or an area rug in your child’s room, use a cyclonic vacuum or a vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly. Make sure to keep kids with allergies and asthma out of freshly vacuumed areas for two hours – the amount of time it takes for dust stirred up by vacuuming to settle back down.

Deter Dust Mites:

Sheets, mattresses, and pillows are a welcome breeding ground for dust mites, which can cause year-round watery eyes and runny noses. Wash all bedding in hot water or bleach as directed every ten days. Also consider protecting pillows and mattresses with removable allergy-resistant coverings.

Forbid Fumes Anywhere in the House:

Cigarette smoke, scented candles, and room deodorizers used in any room of the house can cause asthma symptoms. Limiting their use just to the basement or an attached garage won’t cut it. What happens in the basement can affect air quality in your child’s bedroom. Keep any and all fumes out of the house, if possible!

Lower the Humidity:

Keep tabs on the indoor humidity in your home, and keep it below 50%. Use a dehumidifier if necessary.

Keep the Moisture Out:

Clean bathrooms, kitchens, and basements regularly and keep them well-aired. Make sure to also repair all water leaks.

Prep the Furnace:

Change filters before winter and every three months; use filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 12. A MERV rating tells you how well the filter removes dust from the air as it passes through the filter. Leave the fan “on” to create whole-house filtration.

Not sure exactly what’s making your child’s symptoms act up? Here at MASA, we can help ease your child’s suffering by identifying their allergy or asthma triggers and prescribing treatment. Call us at 309-452-0995 or 217-717-4404 to book an appointment today!

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