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How to allergy proof your child’s room

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Breathe and play easier

Does your child suffer from environmental allergies? Get active in the fight against allergens that cause your child uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms. With the right tools, you can make your child’s bedroom a safer place to play and sleep.

Breathe and play easier

Does your child suffer from environmental allergies? Get active in the fight against allergens that cause your child uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms. With the right tools, you can make your child's bedroom a safer place to play and sleep.

It's probably difficult to imagine your child's bedroom as an unsafe place, but the bedroom can become a hot spot for allergens that trigger your child's allergy symptoms and asthma. Try these helpful, simple tips for making your child's bedroom an oasis from allergens.

Keep animals out

Pet dander can trigger severe allergic reactions and asthma. Keep your child breathing easier by banning pets from her room. If your child plays with animals during the day, have her change her clothes and take a bath or shower before going to bed, even for a nap. Don't allow visiting pets to enter your child's bedroom at all.

Unfortunately, stuffed animals are also off limits. Allow your child to keep one special stuffed animal, preferably an allergy resistant toy, and keep the rest in another room entirely. Even your child's special stuffed animal should be cleaned regularly to avoid dust mite buildup.

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Ditch the carpet and protect the bed

Dust mites are tiny bugs that feed on flakes of human skin. Sounds gross, right? The real danger doesn't come from what dust mites eat, but how they make you feel. Dust mites are one of the most common asthma and allergy triggers. Protect your child by covering his mattress and pillows with special allergy-proof covers. Look for covers certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Wash all bedding regularly in hot water.

If you have the ability to remove the carpet in your child's bedroom, switch to an easy-to-clean smooth flooring option. If you have to stick to carpet, vacuum it frequently with a vacuum with an allergen filter. Avoid heavy curtains and clutter that can give dust mites and pests room to accumulate.

Control pests

Cockroaches are gross enough without making you and your children sick. When they hang out in your child's bedroom, they leave secretions and shed body parts and drop saliva around that can set off your child's allergy symptoms. Keep them at bay by keeping food and drink out of your child's room. Hire a pest control specialist who uses only safe, natural materials and methods to fight pest invasions.

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Clean the air

When you think clean, you might think of the way things smell after they've been washed with a household cleaner. The truth is, the smell of chemicals just means that air and surfaces contain pollutants that can set off asthma and allergies. Avoid using harsh, synthetic cleaners in your child's room. Additionally, use a HEPA air purifier in your child's room and a dehumidifier if mold and moisture are an issue in your climate. Change your air filters regularly. Never use air freshener in your child's room, and stick to a fragrance free detergent.

More on allergies

Kids asthma: Tips for an asthma-healthy home
What to expect from allergy shots
How to prevent ear infections

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