Allergies can be a pain, and with summer allergy season in full swing, many adults and children are suffering from the “wheezes and sneezes” of the season. And while you can’t control the outside environment, there are simple and natural solutions for creating a no allergy zone in your home!
Healthy space designer Robin Wilson, an ambassador for The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, offers these tips for summertime allergy prevention:
In the bathroom: Get rid of your vinyl shower curtain because it holds mold more easily and gives off gases. Use a nylon curtain instead. Use non-toxic cleansers, and always lower the toilet seat when flushing to ensure that spraying particles do not land near or on your towels, toothbrushes or soaps.
For bedding: Use hypoallergenic pillows and wash your pillow case once a week, your pillow protector at least once a month and replace pillows every three years. Cover your mattress with a hypoallergenic cover and wash every two months. Make sure your mattress is non-toxic without formaldehyde-based fire retardants.
Use non-VOC paints: Summer is a great time to makeover your home. Use non-VOC paints in your home which won’t off gas, leave an obnoxious paint odor and stir up asthma or allergies. You won’t even be able to tell the difference in how it looks on the wall.
Flooring: Get rid of wall-to-wall carpeting. Since carpet holds more dust and allergens, tile and hardwood floors are a much better choice. Tile and hardwood floors must be vacuumed or cleaned on a regular basis to eliminate dirt and dust. Each summer, mop or steam clean the entire floor. Doing so ensures that your home will lessen allergens.
Check for mold in dishwashers, under the fridge in the water pan and in sink and bath drains. Change water dispenser, icemaker filters and fix leaks to avoid mold build up.
Wash or freeze stuffed toys: Wash or freeze your child’s stuffed animals to kill dust mites and other bothersome allergens.
Consider using slipcovers on your upholstered sofas which can be washed regularly. Make sure to limit the use of drapes as they are “dust catchers.”
Keep the outside world from coming in: Always leave shoes, sandals and other footwear in the garage or on the porch. Make sure all windows are properly sealed and outdoor air isn’t seeping in. Doing so will not only eliminate allergens, but can lower the energy costs in your home.
Keep pets clean and off of beds: Cat and dog allergies are very common, so keep pets bathed regularly to reduce the dander. Never allow pets on the bed and always wash your hands after handling an animal.