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Allergies and Your Child's Surroundings

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Topic: Diseases & Conditions

Allergies and your child’s surroundings

This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about things at home that could cause allergy problems. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to go over any information you do not understand.

What things are in my surroundings that could cause allergy problems?

Many things affect our daily living area such as air pollution, cigar or cigarette smoke, perfume, animals, irritating odors, everyday lint (dust), molds and dust mites.

  • Animal dander (small scales of skin that animals shed) and saliva can trigger allergic reactions.
  • Animals should be kept outside. Never keep animals in the bedroom.
  • Lint pieces float in the air. They come mostly from upholstered furniture, stuffed pillows, rugs, stuffed toys, mattresses and box springs.
  • Mold spores (seeds) are blown by the wind or are carried by insects, animals or people. Molds grow best in dark, wet places.
  • Dust Mites (They are very tiny bugs. You cannot see them) Dust mites live in warm, wet places. They can be found in carpets, mattresses and upholstered furniture. They feed on skin flakes from humans and pets.

What should I do about my child’s living area (surroundings)?

This list will help you make your child’s living area more comfortable:

-Cigarette smoke - This is a constant irritant and should never be allowed in the home of an asthmatic or allergic child. The family car should also be free of smoke and irritating odors.

-The family must understand smoking cigarettes/cigars outside of the home or car does not mean the child will be unable to inhale smoke irritants. Smoke remains on skin, clothing and hair, so the smoker still exposes the patient to allergens.

-Irritating Odors - Aerosol spray and strong cleaning products should not be used. Cooking sprays should not be used. Do not use perfumes, insect sprays or room deodorizers. Wet paint can also cause problems.

-Dust mites and mold spores (seeds) - Keep humidity (moisture in the air) down. Keep things dry.

Do these things in your child’s bedroom:

  1. Completely cover mattress and box spring in air-tight plastic. Apply tape over zipper to make it airtight.
  2. A mattress pad of polyester fiber should be used. Wash this pad in hot water weekly. Dry cleaning is another option that may control dust mites.
  3. Use dacron/polyester pillows only. Do not use foam, feather, kapok or cotton.
  4. Blankets and quilts of polyester/dacron are the best type to use because they can be washed often.
  5. Do not use heavy drapes, venetian blinds or shutters because they collect dust.
  6. Vacuum carpet two times a week. Damp mop tile, linoleum and wood floors. Wash throw rugs every week.
  7. Remove upholstered furniture, stuffed animals, books and houseplants.
  8. Your child’s closet should contain only his or her clothes. Do not store things under the bed.
  9. Do not use vaporizers and humidifiers. They put extra moisture into the air. This causes molds and mites to grow.

Air Pollution

Air pollution will cause allergy problems to become worse. Listen to radio and television warnings. Follow instructions. If suggested, keep your child indoors.

PDF: Allergies

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 2000, 2007, 2010
Revisado: 2001, 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 2000, 2007, 2010
Reviewed: 2001, 2004


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