According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma Immunology (AAAAI), approximately 13 million school days are missed each year due to asthma.
Because my husband and I are both allergy sufferers and I have asthma, I know my son is at a much greater risk of developing both, which is a total bummer. So I am always looking for ways to limit his exposure to dust, allergens, and indoor air pollutants.
But, I have a confession. Being a less than perfect housekeeper, I admit that I sometimes cut corners when it came to cleaning my sonâ€™s room. My guests never go in there so I figured my limited time was better spent on the kitchen and living room.
But after doing some research, I realized what a huge riskÂ I was taking. After all, my son spends a third of his life in his bedroom, which means that air should be the cleanest and safest air in the house. When he lays his precious little head down and drifts off to dream he should be safe and secure, not breathing in harmful allergens.
Instead of feeling guilty, I found these tips from the AAAAI for keeping our childrenâ€™s rooms allergen free. I hope you find them as useful as I have.
Tips for dealing with pet dander: The AAAAI has found mixed research when it comes to exposure to animals. Most research shows that children exposed to pets early in life are less likely to be allergic. It used to be the opposite. Whatever you believe, if you have pets, you should still take steps to keep your childâ€™s room free of pet dander:
Consider keeping the pets out of the little oneâ€™s rooms. Every outdoor and indoor allergen seems to find itâ€™s way into pet hair. You donâ€™t need those allergens being tracked into your childâ€™s room.
Vacuum regularly to pick up any pet hair and dust that may find itâ€™s way into your childâ€™s carpet. If the pets get into the bed be sure to wash the bedding to get rid of pet hair.
Tips for dealing with dust mites: According to the AAAAI, reducing contact with airborne allergens early in life could help to delay or even prevent the development of allergies or asthma. That was all I needed to hear! Here are their tips for controlling dust mites in our childrenâ€™s rooms:
Use â€śallergen-impermeableâ€ť covers on your childâ€™s pillows and mattresses. These covers zip around the bedding and keep dust from finding its way in.
Wash your childâ€™s bedding in HOT water once a week.
If possible, keep carpet and upholstered furniture out of an infantâ€™s room. (If thatâ€™s not possible, Crucial Vacuum recommends vacuuming with a clean HEPA filter regularly).
AdditionalÂ tips to keep your childâ€™s room safe:
Simply keeping your childâ€™s room clean can go a long way. Dust and pet dander arenâ€™t the only dangers. Leftover food particles, dirt and mud, and damp clothes can attract rodents and bacteria. With rodents and bacteria come germs, pollutants, and sickness.
Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! The AAAAI encourages regular vacuuming and also suggests that kids steer clear of freshly vacuumed rooms for a couple of hours to allow the dust to settle back down. Makes sense right?