Most parents expect the winter months to lessen their children’s allergies because there’s no pollen in the air, but allergies still affect many kids this time of year because of what’s inside your home: cats, dogs, dust mites, mold and more.
Robin Wilson is CEO of Robin Wilson Home, an ambassador to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and has a hypoallergenic bedding line at Bed Bath and Beyond. She says most parents don’t realize that their home is probably making their kids sick, but there are simple solutions to help eliminate the “wheezes and sneezes.” Her tips:
– For allergy and asthma sufferers, make sure and use synthetic pillows over feathered ones, and anti-allergen or hypoallergenic pillow cases and covers. Wash your pillow case once a week, your pillow protector at least once a month and wash your pillow at least twice a year. Replace pillows every three years.
– Don’t use a vinyl shower curtain because it holds mold more easily and off gases. Use a nylon curtain instead. It’s also less expensive.
– Use non-VOC paints in your child’s bedroom which won’t off gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor and stir up asthma or allergies. It looks just as good on the wall as regular paint.
– Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. Tile and hardwood floors are a much better choice, but must be vacuumed or cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate dirt and dust. Shake out and vacuum area rugs on a regular basis as well. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
– Watch for mold in the dishwasher and refrigerator pan which can build up quickly in the kitchen.
– One of the biggest trends today is eco-friendly cabinetry because it has no formaldehyde adhesives and is made with low VOC stains. Consider frameless cabinets which won’t collect as much dust.
– Use slip covers on sofas and chairs which can be washed regularly to eliminate dirt and dust.
– Keep pets out of your child’s bedroom and definitely don’t ever let them on the bed. Pets should be bathed often to reduce dander.
Please consider these simple ways to make your home cleaner and safer which will help reduce asthma attacks and allergies in the winter and year round.