If you are a parent of a child with asthma or other allergies, you want to do everything in your power to prevent them from having an asthma attack or allergic reaction. However, what some parents don't realize is that dust mites may be causing problems when you can't seem to find out what is triggering their attack.
Dust mites are microscopic bug-like creatures that are related to other insects like ticks and spiders, and they live in the dust inside our homes and outdoors. The proteins from dust mite body parts or feces are what can cause a reaction from your child if they have become sensitized to them. In fact, because dust mites are found everywhere, they are the number one cause of asthma attacks worldwide.
All homes are going to have dust mites in them, but if they are causing allergic reactions or asthma attacks in your child, what can you do to help prevent them? The first step is to identify the symptoms of a dust mite allergy. Symptoms include:
Itchy, red watery eyes
Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
Post nasal drip
Facial pressure or pain
Dark circles under the eyes
Frequent upward rubbing of the nose in children
If you suspect that your child is suffering from a dust mite allergy, there are many things you can do to help the situation. Because dust mites live off of dead human skin, hot-beds for their allergens are in carpets, mattresses, and other fabrics you regularly come in contact with in your home. To prevent your children from suffering due to dust mite allergens, you can follow these three simple steps suggested by our friend at APM Solutions.
1. Remove dust mite safe havens
Switch out carpeting for hardwood or laminate flooring wherever possible. This will eliminate a wall to wall habitat for the insects. If changing the flooring in your home isn't in the budget, commit to vacuuming as frequently as possible to remove the mites from the carpet.
2. Protect and clean your bedding
Invest in a dust mite-proof mattress covers for all the beds in your home. If it is a fabric cover, regularly wash it in water that is at least 130 degrees, and if it is a plastic cover wash it with a sponge and warm water or an anti-bacterial cleaner. It is recommended that you clean your bedding at least once a week and only use comforters that don't hold on to dust easily.
3. Dust on a regular basis
Since dust mites naturally live in dust, you should be dusting your home a couple times a week. This can be done by dampening a rag with oil, water, or other household dust cleaning product. Using this method of dusting as opposed to dry dusting will prevent allergens from being airborne.
If you think that your child may have an allergy to dust mites, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to confirm a diagnosis. However, if you know that dust is making your child's allergies worse, following these simple steps will help keep them healthy and happy.