Allergies can be an absolute nightmare for any family, but especially for those with small children. Unfortunately, avoiding them can be a seriously expensive pain and the numbers don’t lie in regard to the hidden harm of household allergies for everyday families:
- Approximately 50 million people in the United States alone suffer from allergies
- Allergies are on the rise and are becoming more commonplace, impacting nearly 40% of American children
- Over $17 million is spent in healthcare costs for nasal allergies alone
The worst part? Many allergens are hidden within the confines of our home and figuring out where they’re hiding quickly becomes a miserable guessing game. If you have a sneaking suspicions that something within your house could be the culprit for your coughing, wheezing or sniffling, consider the following checklist for ridding your home of common household allergens once and for all.
Down with Dust
When it comes to common allergens and irritants within the home, dust is often a main offender. From coughing fits to itching for those with sensitive skin, bear in mind that you may want to do the following:
- Invest in a dust cover for your mattress, which doesn’t have to be an eyesore: whether you have an elegant white wooden bed set or a simple mattress and box spring, you don’t have to sacrifice style for the sake of your health
- Get into a regular dusting routine and don’t forget the seemingly “hard to reach places” such as your air vents and blinds
- Vacuum regularly to avoid an accumulation of dust in the carpet (bonus points if you have hardwood or tile floor which makes dust much easier to spot)
Move Out the Mold
Mold is incredibly tricky as it can cause nagging respiratory problems but still go undetected. Keep an eye on areas of your home such as your air conditioner and bathroom pipes to avoid any leaks. If you hear something unfamiliar in the vicinity or your toilet or shower, call a plumber immediately.
Although some mold can be cleaned with household items, you may want to call a professional if you’re prone to allergies or suspect that you have something more serious lurking in your home.
Pesky Plants and Pollen
Sometimes the biggest triggers for our allergy problems are quite literally under our noses. While flowers and shrubbery may be a breath of fresh air aesthetically, pollen can be a huge issue if you haven’t properly sealed your windows and ducts. Likewise, you may want to think twice about having your air conditioner pull air from outdoors too often if you’re prone to pollen allergies.
Pay Attention to Your Pets
You may find over time that you or your children have developed a pet allergy. If your pet sheds regularly and you want to avoid putting them up for adoption, there are steps you can take to keep your pet around while minimizing allergy problems such as…
- Regularly vacuuming and removing pet dander from your home (ideally this would be the responsibility of someone who isn’t allergic to the pet in question)
- Keep your pets out of the bedroom and primarily in an area without carpet, designating your pets to their own sleeping space)
- In the case of light allergies, regularly grooming and brushing can go a long way
Although there are many potential reasons why your allergies may be flaring up within your home, be proactive in trying to hunt them down. The more steps you take to eliminate the presence of household allergens, you better you and your family will feel.