FACT SHEET ON ALLERGY CONTROL:
Year round allergens are the most important for asthma i.e. animals, dust mite, cockroaches and moulds.
DUST MITE CONTROL:
- Remove rugs from bedroom. Damp wipe hard floors weekly.
- Mattress, pillow and box springs must be encased in a mite barrier (plastic or tightly woven fabric). Damp wipe weekly.
- Wash mattress protector, bedding and curtains weekly in hot water (>58 degrees C).
- Avoid feather or foam pillows.
- Blankets should be washable, synthetic or cotton. Avoid wool blankets or duvets.
- Frequently vacuum and clean the bedroom.
- Store dust-collecting toys outside the bedroom or in closed containers. Soft toys should be washed in hot water or placed in a freezer-bag and stored in a freezer overnight.
- Avoid heavy curtains, venetian blinds and upholstered furniture in the bedroom.
- Keep humidity about 50% in summer and 35% in winter.
The two most important control measures are 1. the absence of a rug or carpet in the bedroom and 2. dust mite barriers on the mattress and pillows.
ANIMAL DANDER CONTROL:
- There should be no furry pets or birds in the home. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat. If it is impossible to eliminate pet animals then at least do the following:
- Keep the pet out of the bedrooms.
- Weekly baths of pet.
- Aggressive dust control in the bedrooms.
- Eliminate rugs and upholstered furniture throughout the home.
- Use a HEPA filter in the bedroom.
These techniques will reduce the dander levels but not to the same degree as not having a pet in the home. They have not been proven to improve asthma when the child is allergic to the pet.
- Dehumidify the home, especially the basement.
- Carefully dry and clean any areas of large water-spills in the home
- Clean with Clorox ( 1- 10% solution - 1 tbs in a pail of water with detergent e.g. Tide).
- Must be dealt with effectively and may require professional help.
- In apartments, the management must be requested to deal with the problem.
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