The most important change you can make in your child’s environment is to encase the mattress and pillow in dust proof covers.
- Place the mattress, box spring, and pillow in zipped, dust proof (vinyl or vinyl-nylon laminate) covers. Do not trust “hypo-allergenic pillows”; any pillow can become contaminated with dust mites! Vinyl covers are available locally at Wal-Mart, K-Mart or J. C. Penney’s. High quality dust-proof encasing that feel like fabric is available by mail from Allergy Control Products (1-800-422-DUST) Mattress pads, pillow cases, sheets, and blankets should be washed every week in hot water and dried in a hot dryer.
- Stuffed animals should have their own bed, not your child’s. A special stuffed animal can be washed in hot water every 1-2 week.
- Carpets are important reservoirs of dust mites and other allergens. If your child has significant allergy symptoms, you should plan on removing the carpet during the next 6-12 months. We realize that this is the most difficult part of allergen control. With a wood or vinyl floor, damp mopping once or twice a week removes dust while stirring up less than vacuuming. If your child would like a rug use small washable throw rugs. Until the carpeting is removed, vacuum twice a week when your child is out of the room for an hour. We do not recommend special vacuum cleaners. They can be very expensive without adding benefit.
- Dust mites like humidity. Keep the humidity in your child’s room less than 35% during the winter. Digital humidity meters can be purchased from Radio Shack for about $30.
- Cover hot air vents with allergy filters and replace every couple of months. These can be purchased from Allergy Control Products (1-800-422-Dust).
Remember, that environmental controls are always important; regardless of the other measures being taken to control your child’s allergies.
Dust allergies are the most common inhalants allergies of children and adolescents. Dust Mites are the components of dust largely responsible for allergies. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that live in fabric (mattresses, carpets and upholstered furniture), especially in scales (dander) shed from human skin! Waste products particles (feces) produced by these mites are the main substance in house dust to which allergic people react. The particles continue to cause allergic symptoms even after the mite died. The results are allergic swelling of the mucous membranes lining the nose, (allergic rhinitis), eyes, and airway in the lung (asthma).
What can be done to Control Dust Mites?
The best way to prevent symptoms from a house dust allergy is to reduce the exposure to dust mites. Concentrate only on your child’s bedroom since this is the room where he/she spends more time that nay other room in your house.