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Sue Hubbard, M.D.
As we continue our allergy series, we thought it would helpful to offer a few tips on how to keep many pesky allergens from bothering your kids in your home.
A wide array of things can trigger an allergy attack in the home, including dust mites and mold.
Working full-time and raising three boys, I know how hard it is for busy families to find time to clean (my least favorite thing to do). But spring is the best time to get a jump on controlling indoor allergies.
Start with washing all bedding at least once a week. Throw your linens in water at least 130 degrees. Place dust mite covers on mattresses and pillows. When changing sheets, vacuum mattresses, as well.
Carpeting harbors lots of things, so if someone in the family is very allergic, consider replacing carpet with floor coverings like hardwood or tile. This can eliminate as much as 90 percent of dust mites. If you can't live without carpeting, consider low-pile over shag.
Get rid of any mold. Mold is caused by moisture and can hide in your kitchen, bathroom and basement. Keep things as dry as possible to avoid any mold build up.
Turn on the ventilating fan or open a window in the bathroom. Try to keep humidity below 50 percent. Too much moisture is a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
I know how much families love their pets (we adore our yellow lab, Maggie, and treat her as a member of the family). But pets can track pollen into the house. Also, many children can be allergic to pet dander. Here's a trick: Wipe your pet down with a dryer to pick up dander and any loose pollen.
Spring-cleaning means de-cluttering, so box up those knickknacks. They're very decorative but magnets for dust. And, check your air filters. On the first day of every month, clean or replace your air conditioner, furnace or dehumidifier filter. This will inhibit dusty air from circulating throughout the home.
Let me know how things works out for your family!
Dr. Sue Hubbard is a nationally known pediatrician and co-host of "The Kid's Doctor" radio show.
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Health - Try These Tips To Control Indoor Allergens