Babies and young children whose immune systems are not yet established are particularly vulnerable to allergies, and also to the side-effects of anti-allergy drugs and dangerous chemicals. Routine exposure to allergens in your home can lead to chronic asthma if left unchecked. There is a mass of evidence that asthma and allergic reactions can be prevented by eliminating the main triggers. Once these triggers have been eliminated, the next step in a drug-free approach is to strengthen the immune system though the use of harmless, naturally occurring nutrients in precise doses and proportions.
First, here are 7 tips for removing allergens and other hazards from your home:
1. Rid your home of dust mites. Change the relative humidity and temperature of your home. Keeping relative humidity below 50% by means of mechanical ventilation with a heat recovery unit is proven to greatly reduce dust mite population. Washing all your bedding weekly at 60 degrees Celsius or 130 degrees Fahrenheit and drying in a hot dryer will kill dust mites living there. Dry cleaning quilts and blankets weekly may also be necessary.
2. Avoid toxic chemicals such as organophosphates found in pesticides and insecticides, wood treatments, flea and tick treatments, flame retardants, mosquito sprays and lice shampoos. They kill insects by disrupting their brains and nervous systems but there is serious concern that they can also be harmful to humans and pets, so don’t introduce a possible new hazard into your home in your effort to eliminate existing problems.
3. Avoid toluene-laced fragrances such as those found in perfumes, air-fresheners, carpet cleaning fluids, furniture wax, car-tires, plastic garbage bags, inks, hair gel, hair spray and cat litter. Toxicological research has shown that perfume used in cat litter can cause asthma in humans. The safest policy is to avoid any product with added fragrance.
4. Cockroaches are a problem because dead roaches and droppings produce a known allergen which collects in house dust and can persist in the home even months after an infestation has been eradicated. To help prevent cockroach invasion, remove sources of moisture and damp such as leaky pipes and condensation, keep all floors and kitchen surfaces free of crumbs, food scraps, spillages etc.
5. Eliminate mold in bathrooms, kitchens and basements, which are known asthma and allergy triggers. Mold can also grow on foam pillows where moisture from perspiration accumulates. Enclose foam pillow in air-tight covers, wash weekly and replace annually. Regularly check houseplants for mold growth. Plants may have to be kept outside.
6. Airborne Particulates, cigarette and wood smoke along with all classes of airborne pollution are known to contribute to increased incidence of asthma. Use HEPA air cleaners around the home. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters will eliminate pollens and animal dander. Using a HEPA vacuum cleaner and steam cleaning rugs and upholstery regularly can also help to eliminate dust mites. Remember to close windows on days when outdoor pollution levels are known to be high.
7. Food allergies can cause asthma. Noted common food allergens are milk, egg, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Vigilance is required to identify foods which produce reactions. Chocolate allergy has been associated with cockroach protein contaminants in cocoa beans. Fresh fruit and vegetables may also bear traces of organophosphates as discussed above, and should be washed thoroughly before eating.
Removing allergy triggers wherever possible will significantly reduce incidence of allergic reactions, but in the long term, the use of powerful, natural products to boost your child’s immune system is the safest way to protect them for life.