asthma & allergies naturally part 3 :: cleanse the home

{If you haven’t yet read part 1 or 2, you can find all posts and resources here}

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I shared an introduction to our children’s asthma & allergies journey and the important step of taking time to calm their little bodies down.

When our children are dealing with food or environmental allergies, we found beginning with cleansing the body a great first step.

By this I mean we tried an elimination diet and also food allergy testing to isolate issues, and then made one significant food change which had super positive results!  With asthma finding roots in excessive inflammation, trying an anti-inflammatory path proved successful for us.

Today, I’ll share another step — cleansing the home.

Allergies are a huge trigger to asthma symptoms, therefore it makes sense to control those allergens within our most basic environment:  Our Homes.  We’re rightly concerned about outside triggers, but often inside our homes provide challenges as well!

There are two ways to approach this:

  • become overwhelmed and do nothing
  • become overwhelmed and do waaay too much!

I agree it can be a lot at first, but I’m suggesting a middle of the road approach — an intentional, but not fearful attentiveness.  There’s really not a need to go all out and install whole house air filtration or another expensive project! Simple, consistent changes will hopefully provide relief.

**You might want to consider testing for environmental allergies to know more what the specific triggers are, because there are many, many potentials!  

Since we spend quite a bit of time in a certain area of the house, I say focus most attention there

Cleansing The Bedroom

Our children’s room environment can hold BIG triggers, especially if they’re allergic to dust mites.  A simple Google search will prove helpful, here’s a list of things I’d suggest:

  • cover mattresses, pillows and comforters in allergen-proof covers – these are found in all kinds of stores or online.  wash these in hot water once a quarter.
  • wash sheet & pillow cases once a week in hot water.
  • clean carpet often with a HEPA-filter vacuum, or better…remove carpet in the room if possible.  replace with hardwood or linoleum – we simply vacuum often.  *vacuuming does stir up some dust, so keep children out of the room for about 1/2 hr afterwards.
  • keep the room temperature cool, between 68 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit, this is great for whole house temp as well.
  • use an indoor humidity monitor (we used this one for years before replacing) and dehumidifier to keep humidity in the room below 50%
  • if possible, get rid of stuffed animals.  If not, place stuffed animals in a plastic bag and freeze for 24 hrs to kill dust mites, then vacuum them afterwards – repeat about once a month.  The plastic contains the mites and vacuuming cleans out dead mites.  Whew.  We got rid of the sweet stuffed animals! 🙂
  • use a semi-damp cloth on wood and metal surfaces to remove dust – this helps to trap dust instead of sending it flying around.  we’ve also tried a few allergen furniture polishes, but I’m not sure these made a difference.

Most of our efforts were centered around these suggestions not only for the bedroom, but whole house changes.  Especially for things such as dusting, controlling humidity, and keeping room temperatures cool…we found these efforts proved incredibly helpful.

Any other ideas?

Yet, there is still a battle to fight with other potential allergens: cockroaches, mold, pet dander, pollens from the outside which enter the home and more!…I’ve provided some links below for extra helps.

A couple of other things before that:

General Home Cleaning Tips for Allergen Control

  • keep children from exposure to second-hand smoke.  this isn’t an issue for us since we’re non-smokers, but a definite concern for triggers if exposed regularly.
  • watch basements, attics and bathrooms (and also around windows) for mold & mildew – treat them naturally if present in the home.
  • discontinue use of commercial cleaners as chemicals in these products can be triggers to respiratory concerns.  we’ve made our own cleaners or used Shaklee products.  There are many others products lines to consider, possibly available in your local grocer.
  • remove all perfumes!  in laundry products and cleaning products especially – we use ALL Free & Clear as our primary laundry soap.  If you make your own products, essential oils can be used to fragrance naturally.
  • we just completed a home remodel and therefore new paint, new construction, etc. all provide levels of off-gassing which can lead to triggers in our kiddos (and their parents).  Now that we’re done, a local air conditioning company is coming to install an ‘air-scrubber’ which will help control off-gassing with simple whole house air purification and they’ll also come to clean our air vents.

If you’re just starting out – begin with your child’s bedroom first.  Paying attention to environment alongside of eliminating possible food triggers and reducing inflammation in the body will hopefully provide relief.

Remember it’s a process, often one better taken slower in order to make permanent and consistent changes.

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Extra Helps:

Room by Room Cleaning Resources

Allergen by Allergen Control Resources

** {Here’s Part 4 — Strengthen the Body} **

 

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disclaimer: the information presented in this post is for informational and educational purposes alone.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.  All readers are encouraged to seek professional medical assistance before implementing any suggestions and to discern if such changes or suggestions should be pursued.  thank you.

 

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4 comments

I became extremely sensitive to fragrances during my first pregnancy. I didn’t change anything. (Sad, I know.) The sensitivity lessened not pregnant, worsened second pregnancy, and continued after.
Then,we changed everything! I finally was at a place where I was paying attention to these things and became concerned about what we were eating and using.
Fast forward to now: I do 90% of my cleaning (including my hair) with baking soda and vinegar, make my own laundry detergent, and make most of our toiletries including deodorant and lotions.
It’s made a huge difference. We’re pretty isolated where we live now–all those changes made us decide we wanted to live a more natural life in all ways so now I lived in the middle of nowhere in Idaho–and we naturally avoid most chemical stuff simply by not being in stores very often.
All that to say, my husband brought home a new to us dryer yesterday. He warned me it had a perfume smell to it. I couldn’t believe it, before he even opened the door the smell was so strong. We got it in place and I tossed in the first load. When I removed the clothes, I discovered some deodorant thing stuck INSIDE the dryer. I removed it and put it in a back. I then had to toss it outside bc it was making me sick and making it SO hard to breathe, even in the bag. Wow. It took awhile for the air to clear and for me to catch my breathe.
How crazy that that was all just “normal” before. Getting rid of fragrance-filled things and cleaning more naturally has made a HUGE difference in our lives. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Julia

The trained exterminators at Pretoria are worth recommending, as they use hi-tech methods for the elimination of pests.

[…] describe many steps for removing environmental triggers in my post, but instead of overwhelming myself, I focused on his bedroom. So much time is spent in there […]

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