Allergies and Asthma
Australia has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma, with one in eight children suffering wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing morning or evening and tightness in the chest.
There are many triggers to asthma that if avoided, can significantly reduce the negative effects on your children. Here are some major triggers to avoid:
- Dust mites- the biggest contributor to asthma in Australia
- Cigarette smoke and bush fire smoke
- Household mould
- Viral infections such as cold and flus
It’s important to try and reduce these triggers in and around your home. Here are some key ways to do so:
Use a HEPA filter vacuum as it will reduce the amount of allergens put back into your environment . Make sure that you vacuum when your child isn’t around for at least half an hour, as vacuuming increases the amount of dust in the air and needs that time to settle.
2. Use a Steam Mop
Steam mops are a very effective and cheap way to reduce allergens in your home. You can do away with chemical cleaners (which often aggravate asthma) and use water instead.
3. Use Hot Water when Washing
Hot water kills dust mites. Anything above 55c will suffice. If you are not connected to hot water, or are concerned about the cost, then add tea tree or other essential oils that kill mites in cold water. Ask your health food store as they will guide you best.
4. Chose Latex Pillows and Bedding
Latex is the best anti-allergy sleeping product on the market. Dust mites cannot live in latex. While it is significantly more expensive than standard bedding, it will last you years beyond standard bedding and avoid the itching, watery eyes and allergy symptoms normal bedding – and its dust mites- bring.
5. Anti-Allergy Blankets
Many doonas and blankets are now available in anti-allergy fibres, in winter and summer weights. Most of the department stores and discount stores stock them. Easy to wash and use every night.
6. Air Your Rooms
Dampness is a major contributor to asthma and allergies as it exacerbates mould problems in the house. Wipe down any signs of mould with bleach or natural mould removers and keep your windows and screen doors open to maximize air flow.