For many families, spring break means a stay-cation with the kids at home, enjoying the warm weather and taking time to visit local attractions, restaurants, and parks. With the increased outdoor playtime, children are likely to track in pollen and other outdoor allergens, putting your home air quality at risk. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology suggests that there are ways to prevent allergies or asthma from developing in your children; improve your indoor air quality for your family by following these simple guidelines.
Leave Pollen on the Doorstep
Have children remove their shoes when they first enter the house to ensure that they don’t accidentally track in traces of pollen and other allergens. A change of clothes upon coming inside will also keep pollen from entering your home and irritating your lungs. Children should also wash their hands (or rinse off, if possible) to remove allergens that have latched on to their skin.
Spring Clean Your Fabrics
Washing indoor linens, drapes, and rugs in hot water weekly will decrease the amount of dust that accumulates in your home; hard floors are ideal for reducing allergens and the amount of vacuuming you have to do! If you do have carpets that requires vacuuming, use a vacuum that contains a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or double layered bag, which trap harmful particles.
Use a Home Air Purifier
Incorporating an air purifier and humidifier into your home has many benefits, including reducing pesky colds and coughs that kids pick up from being outside. Personal home air purifiers clean your indoor air to decrease dust, mold, pollen, and other indoor allergens.
Shift Family Activities to Evening
Spring break is a great excuse to stay up a little later and sleep in the next day, a schedule that also allows you and your family to avoid peak pollen time. Pollen counts are typically highest during the morning and day time, so seeing a movie matinee and eating dinner on the patio are easy ways to avoid the poor air quality outside.
Give Teddy a Bath
Your children will probably want to include their favorite stuffed animals and toys in the outdoor playtime they’re enjoying; however, teddy bears and dolls are just as prone as humans to bringing in allergens. Wash your child’s stuffed animals in very hot water, and every month or so, place the stuffed animals in a freezer bag and freeze the toy overnight to kill dust mites (assuming your children won’t be traumatized without their stuffed animals at night).
Having your children home for spring break doesn’t mean your home should also be open to the allergens that they might bring in. Following these tips for allergy relief at home will ensure that your family enjoys a fun and relaxing break without compromising on air quality and health.