Best Way to Create an Allergy-Free Area Outside the Home

Although many of the allergies that people suffer from are triggered by factors found inside the home, there are some practical steps you can take to improve the wider environment at your child’s school, for example, or in the workplace – in order to minimize the threat posed by eczema, asthma, hay fever and similar allergic diseases. Of course, you will not have the same degree of control outside the home, but you can often adapt your knowledge about allergy triggers and irritants in the home to these other situations. It may mean, if appropriate, that you make sure your child takes preventative medicine before going on, say, a nature walk or handling the class guinea pig, or you could ensure that only non-perfumed products are used to clean your office.

One of the real danger areas outside the home the allergy sufferer has to consider is the garden. The obvious triggers here are pollen, mould spores, and contact allergens. But there are many ways to minimize or even to prevent these allergies. Strategies range from the careful siting of compost bins to planting only low-allergen specimens. Com­pared with asthma and hay fever, however it is far easier to prevent skin allergies simply by avoiding specific plants, but having a pollen or mould allergy does not necessarily make the garden forbidden territory,

Allergy Free Environment Best Way to Create an Allergy Free Area Outside the Home


  • Use a closed system of compost making, rather than an open heap, to prevent the escape of fungal spores into the air
  • Turn the compost heap regularly to constantly bring fresh material into contact with the air, and so prevent any fungus establishing itself.
  • Don’t allow an allergy sufferer to turn the compost or to spread it on the garden.
  • Avoid areas of the garden where compost has recently been spread if you are an allergy sufferer

Children’s play areas

  • Lay rubber tiles, like those used in playgrounds, instead of grass, if children have grass allergies. The tiles can be cleaned with a garden hose to remove dirt, pollen, fungal.
  • Another alternative to grass is the artificial turf used for some tennis courts and football fields.
  • Lay non-staining sand to a depth of 30cm/12in over coarse gravel as an allergen-free play area. Fence the area off to exclude cats.


  • Replace lawns with low-growing ground-cover plants, such as Vinca minor which do not produce pollen.
  • If you want to retain a lawn, cut the grass often to keep it short and so prevent it producing flowers and, therefore, pollen.
  • Avoid strimmers – these may cause sap to fly up and on to your skin.
  • Remove all grass cuttings left behind by a lawn mower
  • Do not walk barefoot if contact with grass causes eczema and urticaria.


  • Use an easy-to-clean hard surface floor in any room giving access on to the garden. Vinyl, linoleum, solid wood, or glazed tiles all allow you to remove dirt, pollen, fungal spores, grass cuttings, and animal waste that either blow in through open doors or are walked in on the soles of your shoes. Insisting that shoes are removed before coming into the house is a sensible precaution.


  • Avoid hedging plants, such as Leyland cypress, that may cause dermatitis, and others, such as privet (Liguslrum), that can provoke asthma and hay-fever symptoms.
  • Choose closely branched hedging plants, which collect less dust, pollen, and fungal spores.
  • Replace hedging with a fence covered with a low-allergen climbing plant, such as a non-scented honeysuckle (Lonicera).


  • Avoid strongly scented plants these are much more likely to cause asthma or hay-fever problems in susceptible people than lightly scented specimens and so should be avoided, especially near seating or play areas.
  • Don’t plant aromatic herbs, which release their aroma (essential oils) only when they are crushed, anywhere near garden paths, where they may be walked on accidentally. Plant them out of the way in raised beds.

Allergy Free Environment 1 Best Way to Create an Allergy Free Area Outside the Home

  • Reconsider the use of ferns in the garden, as there is some evidence that fern spores cause hay fever in susceptible people.
  • Conservatories or porches
  • • Treat a garden room as part of the home, since it will contribute to the quality of the air in the house.
  • Install double- (secondary-) glazing to prevent condensation and inhibit moulds.
  • Consider installing underfloor heating if building a new conservatory or garden room. This heating system stirs up little dust.
  • Choose plants that need little watering and add a top layer of gravel to any exposed soil to inhibit mould. Plants increase general humidity in the home, and so encourage mould growth and dust mites.
  • If many plants are present, open windows or consider using a dehumidifier to control humidity.

Garden room furniture

  • Avoid soft-upholstered furnishings, but also bear in mind that the traditional wicker and cane furniture commonly found in garden rooms can be difficult to clean.

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