Asthma Mom’s Rules for Bedroom Dust
I’ve been living the dust mite prevention life for so long, sometimes I forget that families new to asthma don’t necessarily know about the more subtle ways to battle this allergen. You probably already know about the mattress and pillow covers. And then there’s the stuffed animal process. And the thing about avoiding carpet in bedrooms, if possible.
But let’s talk about some lesser known steps. The waste of these tiny mites is highly allergic, and it comprises a large portion of regular old household dust. As I’ve mentioned a time or twenty, this is my daughter’s only allergic trigger, but it’s a big one.
The main rule of thumb here: if you can’t dust it or clean it, don’t keep it in your kid’s room.
1. You know how people keep dried flower bouquets around for memories and/or decoration?
Yeah, don’t do that. Real flowers die. Silk flowers, you can wipe off. Dried flowers? Collect dust and are impossible to clean.
2. Only use curtains and bedding you can wash at home.
Anything too big or too delicate for your washing machine is just not going to get cleaned as often as it should. You’ll plan to drop it off at the dry cleaners or go find a laundromat with a big enough washer, but life will get in the way and the dust mite waste will just keep on multiplying.
And when you wash them:
3. Use hot water and the dryer.
4. Because dust mites like soft material best, keep that stuff to a minimum.
Now, I’m not saying you have to decorate your kid’s bedroom with all sharp angles and sleek modern furniture, but then I wouldn’t go overboard with an upholstered Victorian theme, either. You can’t strip your child’s bed of a soft quilt and a favorite teddy bear, but you can avoid dust-friendly decor like wall hangings and clutter.
5. Move to Denver.
No, just kidding. But here’s a little food for thought:
Dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Faranheight [sic] and relative humidity levels of 70 percent to 80 percent. There are at least 13 species of mites, all of which are well adapted to the environment inside your home. (Source: AAFA, link below)
I don’t even think it’s possible to reach 70% here in the dry, dry Mile High City, but if you live at a lower altitude, keep an eye on the humidity levels inside your house.
6. Don’t forget to dust the hard-to-reach places.
Ceiling fan blades
The backs and sides of bedroom furniture
Baseboards and crown molding
You get the idea.