Indoor allergies are triggered by various allergens present inside the house. The difference with seasonal allergies is that they are instigated by high levels of grass, pollen or mold in the spring or fall season while indoor allergies can occur year round.
Even though most of the triggers for seasonal allergies are found outdoors, children with year round or perennial allergies are typically allergic to allergens inside the house such as animal dander, dust mites, cockroaches and indoor mold.
Even if the exact trigger for the allergy of the child is not identified, if the child has indoor allergies or other allergic conditions such as eczema and asthma, it is vital to consider measures to control the allergens such as the following:
- Check high areas
- Check the floor or the ground
- Sleeping area of the child
Remember that the allergens that are responsible for triggering allergies are usually found in any of these places.
Controlling the triggers of indoor allergens
Check high places or objects
Even if the house is kept fairly free from dust, it is easy to miss out on areas that are out of sight including air vents, tops of ceiling fan blades, top surface of tall bookcases and other furniture pieces.
A ceiling fan should not be used since dust mites are likely to trigger allergies once they are disturbed and become airborne. This is likely to occur when a ceiling fan is used. Regular replacement of the filters in air conditioners or heating systems is vital in minimizing the amount of allergens inside the house.
Check the floor or the ground
Carpeted flooring is the main source of dust mites. If possible, it is recommended to get rid of carpets and substitute them with hard flooring such as tile, vinyl or wood. In case removing the carpet is not possible, it is essential to vacuum on a weekly basis using a vacuum or one with a bag that is capable of trapping dust mites.
It is also best to vacuum while the child is out of the room for at least 20 minutes since vacuuming can drive the dust mites into the area for a brief period, thus aggravating the allergic symptoms. Remember that vacuuming will only remove the surface dust mites and it is not usually possible to eliminate them all from the carpet.
In case the child plays on the floor, it is recommended to let him/her sit or lie on a mat made out of plastic or washable throw rug that are washed weekly using hot water.
The bed of the child is surprisingly a big source of dust mites which is a main trigger for indoor allergies. Allergy-proof covers must be used on the pillows, box spring and mattress which are usually made out of vinyl or a semipermeable material. Additionally, wash-down the pillow cases and other bedding using hot water every week.