Best Way to Deal with Different Kinds of Allergic Factors in Children’s Room

Remember to air rooms and beds in the morning unless you are pollen-sensitive, when you should keep windows shut at peak pollen times. Try to make beds, vacuum, and dust when any allergic children are out of their rooms. Avoid cleaning in the evenings before bed time as disturbed dust will take hours to settle out of the air.

Anti-mite barrier covers

Cover mattresses, duvets, and pillows in anti-mite barrier covers. All beds in the room should be treated in this way – even those of non-allergic children, since their bedding will also harbour dust mites and their allergen.

Children’s Room Best Way to Deal with Different Kinds of Allergic Factors in Children’s Room

Bed linen should be changed weekly and washed at a high temperature (56°C/133°F or above) to kill the dust mite and remove the allergen. Other bedclothes, such as bedspreads, must also be washed weekly at high temperatures.

In hot, sunny climates an alternative to washing thicker bedclothes, such as quilts or bedspreads, on a weekly basis is to hang them in strong sunlight for several hours each week. The sunlight should kill most of the mites, and so reduce the amount of allergen produced. The remaining allergen will have to be washed out, possibly at only 3-monthly intervals.

The duvets and pillows themselves do not need regular washing if they have been covered with barrier covers. However you will have to wipe the cover with a damp (but not wet) cloth to remove dust mites every time you change the bedding. Modern barrier covers are water permeable, so if a child wets the bed you will need to strip off all the bedding and wash it Thorough drying of bedclothes is important, especially of thicker items such as quilts, to eliminate any risk of dampness and, therefore, mould growth.

Bunk and divan beds

If bunk beds are used, the allergic child should sleep on the top bed, as dust mites and allergen will drift down from the top bunk on to the child below. Divan beds inhibit the circulation of air beneath the mattress, and so any clothes or toys stored in drawers beneath the bed should be in breathable plastic storage bags to prevent mite colonization.

Cots (cribs)

Although the same cot (crib) can be used for different babies over the years, each infant should have his or her own new mattress. Replace any mattress, however, if any signs of mould (black stains) develop. This will happen if it is not thoroughly dried out after becoming wet.

Children’s Room 1 Best Way to Deal with Different Kinds of Allergic Factors in Children’s Room

Cot (crib) mattresses are usually made of foam, though some people prefer a natural cotton stuffing. A foam mattress is usually partly covered with a vinyl plastic to protect it against soiling, while the section where the baby lays its head is left uncovered for safety reasons. Barrier covers for cot (crib) mattresses are available from specialist suppliers. Do not use home­made plastic covers – these are unsafe and may cause suffocation.

When allergic children move from a cot (crib) to their first “proper” bed they should start off with a new mattress, duvet, and pillow, which should all be protected with barrier covers to keep them mite-free right from the beginning. There is, however a new heat-treatment procedure that can be used to clean old mattresses and bedding to kill dust mites and denature their droppings, so that they are no longer allergenic.

Soft toys

Piles of soft toys in a bedroom are a health hazard for any child with a mite allergy. Just like soft furnishings and carpets, cuddly toys create an ideal breeding environment for mites. Soft Toys should be tidied away in a closet or chest at night rather than kept on the bed or cot (crib). You may, however need to make an exception for a child’s favourite toy or blanket.

Keep soft toys in the bedroom to a minimum and, ideally, wash them weekly at water temperatures of 56°C/I33°F or above. Toys can be washed at lower temperatures if a solution of mite-killing benzyl benzoate is used – but since favourite toys are likely to be sucked and in constant contact with the child, some parents may not be happy with this option. Alternatively, you can place soft toys inside a plastic bag and leave them in your refrigerator’s freezer compartment for 3-4 hours. This will kill all the mites, but you will still have to wash their droppings away.

If you wash or freeze toys weekly right from new, dust mites will never have the opportunity to establish themselves in any great numbers, especially if you use barrier covers on all bedding so that there are no reservoirs of dust mite in the room to recolonize the clean toys.

Children’s Room 2 Best Way to Deal with Different Kinds of Allergic Factors in Children’s Room

Apply this regime, more or less strictly, to soft toys that are kept in other rooms, depending on how often the child plays with them. Carrying out this routine does require time and effort, and it may be easier to keep only a few soft toys, which you can then rotate through the anti-mite regime.

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