Although I feel pretty well versed on eczema and food allergies, I have next to zero knowledge on indoor allergies as my family doesn’t suffer from them. Thankfully we were spared from them as seasonal allergies and food allergies remain our close companions. Since I can’t speak to allergens that lurk in the most unsuspecting corners of our home (eek!), and I know that indoor allergies can be a big trigger for eczema and asthma, I’ve asked Kevin to share his expertise with us.
Bio: Kevin Gilmore is a Senior Writer at AchooAllergy. AchooAllergy offers a wide variety of allergy relief and environmental control products as well as thousands of resource pages and articles about allergies, asthma, green products, and living better by eliminating allergens, irritants, and pollutants from your home.
Hide ‘N Seek – Hidden Allergies In the Home
With a short, mild winter nearly behind us, spring has come early for many parts of the country. Unfortunately for seasonal allergy sufferers, the outdoors is soon to be a veritable festival of pollen, so as pollen levels already begin to climb, now is a good time to take a closer look at removing allergens in the home.
By now, most allergy sufferers are fairly knowledgeable about carpet and bedding being havens for allergens. Similarly, the kitchen and bathroom can be areas where chemical exposure (via cleaning agents) can be a problem.
Carpeting and bedding, like pillows and mattresses, trap all sorts of allergens, from pollen and pet dander to the dust mite allergen and even mold spores. And all of these areas can also be chalked full of chemicals like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
Aside from these two big problems areas, as well as pets, there are also a variety of places around the home that can harbor hidden allergies for your children.
- Anything Upholstered – This includes couches, love seats, chairs, and ottomans, etc. Upholstered furniture can collect dust (with the primary component being dead skins cells) and become a quaint little home for dust mites.
- Drapes – Curtains and drapes can collect dust, pet hair and allergens.
- Stuffed Animals – You often don’t think about cleaning your child’s stuffed animals (unless they’ve decided to feed Elmo peanut butter), but like anything with fabric or fill, they can and do collect dust mites and a whole host of allergens from the floors and anywhere Elmo tags along.
- Other Toys – Keep these in mind. They can not only harbor allergens but also breed germs.
- Ceiling Fans – These are often forgotten about but if you’ve not cleaned the blades in a while and then wipe them off, you might be surprised the amount of filth you pick up.
- Air Vents and Returns – Vents and returns will always collect dust and allergens. They so often blend in to the background of the home that you can easily overlook dusting them.
- Under the Bed – There can be all manner of things under a child’s bed, from snacks and dust bunnies to mystery spills and collection of toys, wrappers, and other stuff. Cleaning under your child’s bed can be as important as encasing the actual bedding itself.
Though these are in no particular order, they all represent areas of the home that may escape regular cleaning and can hold hidden allergens that can all worsen the indoor air quality in your home. In addition to your normal cleaning regimen, keep these areas in mind, and remember, you’re not only cleaning for appearances but also for your health.