Keeping a Consistent Balance At Home to Minimize Allergens

Yesterday we looked at some tips from Dr. Alanna Levine on avoiding allergens in your home. Today we have some tips from the pediatrician on Balance:

B is for Balance: Keep a consistent balance in the home to help minimize allergens.

  • Help protect children from pollen particles. Pollens are small particles that plants such as trees, grasses, and weeds release into the air. These pollens may harbor in the eyes, nose, and airways, causing the allergy symptoms to flair in those allergic to  pollen.  To help limit pollen indoors, keep the windows shut and use central air conditioning during high  pollen seasons.

How this applies to pet families:  I’ve written before about how we use central air conditioning a LOT in our home, not only because we’re in Texas and it is hot, hot, hot but also because the high efficiency filters we use help filter out the allergens.

  • Take care of toys. Give your child washable, non-allergenic stuffed toys when possible. Be sure to wash the ones played  with the most every week in hot water (at least 130° F). Store other toys, dolls, and play equipment  outside the bedroom or in the closet.

How this applies to pet families:  Just as this applies to your two-legged children’s toys, it applies to those four-legged children’s toys as well! Wash those dog and cat toys in hot water to remove allergens and keep the toys off your bed. We even have a toy box for our pet toys (a low one so they can help themselves) that we keep in the living room, NOT in the bedroom.

  • Clear the clutter. Spring cleaning shouldn’t just happen once a year.  Make it a weekly habit to dust and sweep floors, as  well as dark spots in closets and corners where dust and dirt are often overlooked.

How this applies to pet families: With pet families, it’s even more important to dust and sweep even more often. We run the carpet sweeper or the broom through the house every day and pick up the pet hair before it forms tumbleweeds.

  • Limit furry friend time. Children should wash hands immediately after any contact with a furry or feathered pet. Non-allergic family members should wash pets, and clean out their animal cages or litter boxes. Parents should also consider pets that are allergen-free, like fish.

How this applies to pet families: I wash my hands a LOT and John cleans the litter boxes here at our home (hey, there has to be SOME up side to having allergies!) And the fish…well, we’ve had those, too…but at the same time as our cats and dogs.

Tomorrow: C is for Change