Sniffles, sneezes, and itchy throat worse at night? It may be your child's bedroom. Try these allergy-proofing steps to give her a better night's sleep.
Begin with the Bed
Dr. Chiu recommends the following to help ease your child's allergy symptoms:
- Launder bed linens weekly, and always wash in water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. "That's the only temperature that kills dust mites"
- Use allergen-proof covers for pillows and mattresses. These special covers are made with a tight weave that keeps dust mites from getting in, or out
- Avoid down-filled bedding. Choose hypoallergenic pillows and comforters. Synthetic or natural latex foam mattresses do not attract mold or dust mites and may be a better option for an allergy-prone child
- Do not let the family pet sleep with your child or on her bed. Pet dander is a very common allergen
- Steam clean your child's mattress and comforter. Steam cleaning kills dust mites and it's a good way to deodorize a mattress
Eliminate the Clutter
- Remove stuffed animals and extra pillows from your child's bed; they attract dust mites and dander. "If your child does have a favorite stuffed animal she likes to sleep with, wash it regularly to get rid of dander and put it in the freezer overnight once a week to kill dust mites," advises Dr. Chiu
- Keep knickknacks or collections of figurines, dolls, or other toys in an enclosed case. These items are dust magnets when left sitting on shelves or book cases
- If possible, keep books and toys in a separate room. Books and toys collect dust. Bookshelves should be dusted regularly, and hard toys should be sanitized in solution of diluted bleach and hot water regularly.
- Vacuum carpeted rooms regularly with a HEPA filtered vacuum
- Damp mop hardwood floors and dust hard surfaces where regularly
- Vacuum or steam shades, curtains, or blinds
- Consider removing wall-to-wall carpeting and replacing it with hardwood, linoleum, or laminate flooring
- Replace curtains or drapes with natural fiber shades, or hardwood or plastic blinds that can be easily dusted or wiped down
- Look into getting an air filter for your child's room to reduce airborne allergens