As their organs and respiratory, immune and neurological systems are still developing, young children tend to be more sensitive to harmful substances such as certain chemicals, particles and allergens. Most people with allergies develop them during childhood. It is highly important for parents to take proactive measures to create a safe and healthy home environment for their children.
Mom Central recently introduced me to the ABC's to help maintain a healthier home environment for children suggested by Dr. Alanna Levine, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP). I'd like to share them with you:
A is for Avoid: Whenever possible, avoid irritants that often trigger allergies, such as products made of feathers or down. Use hypoallergenic pillows on your child's bed, and limit exposure to perfume, talcum powder, hair spray, air fresheners, fabric softeners or other strong odors or sprays. Strong fragrances and odors may aggravate allergy symptoms.
B is for Balance: Maintain a consistent balance in the home to help minimize allergens. Keep the windows shut and use central air conditioning during high pollen seasons to help protect children from pollen particles that trees, grasses and weeds release into the air. These particles can harbor in the eyes, nose, and airways, causing allergy symptoms to flair for those allergic to pollen. Also, give children washable, non-allergenic stuffed toys when possible, and be sure to wash the ones played with the most on a weekly basis, in hot water at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
C is for Change: Change items that are easy to neglect but are important for maintaining a healthier home, such as leaky faucets, pipes and other high moisture areas that are common places for mold growth. Don't neglect their air in the home either. Change your filter every three months, and use a high performance filter, such as a Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction Filter from 3M.
Filtrete Elite Allergen Reduction Filter captures 94 percent of large airborne particles, such as household dust, pollen and mold spores, from the air passing through the filter. It also captures up to 40 times more microscopic particles, such as smoke, smog and particles that can carry bacteria and viruses, than ordinary fiberglass filters.
Filtrete's Clear Advantages program offers healthy home living tips, money saving offers, filter change reminders, FREE air quality guide and more via a seasonal e-newsletter. Be sure to join the program and follow Filtrete on Twitter and Facebook for more useful information.
Besides using an allergen reduction air filter, there are a few more things you can do to ensure that the air you and your child breathe is healthier.
- Make sure your indoor paints are lead free and have been independently certified for low chemical emissions, known as VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions;
- Choose solid wood furniture over pressed wood furniture, which can release potentially harmful chemicals like formaldehyde into the air;
- Clean regularly with eco-friendly, fragrance-free products as much as possible. Try chemical alternatives like vinegar and baking soda and you will be surprised by what they can accomplish.
- Use a humidifier to provide natural relief for allergy. Keep humidification levels within the 30%-50% range for best results.
- Use an HEPA vacuum cleaner to minimize the amount of harmful particles and allergens being released back into the air.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Filtrete and received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.