Tips to Protect Your Child From Dust Mites

We’re not aware of much that happens on the microscopic level. If put under a high-intensity microscope, that innocent-looking dust bunny can reveal a veritable “thunderdome” of dust mites all battling for dominance. Yes, there are living creatures in your dust and they are the exact type of particulate that can trigger allergies or asthma attacks in young children.

Those health issues can manifest in a child as sneezing, a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes and in extreme cases difficulty in breathing. Clearly, that is not something you want to put your family through. Here are some helpful ways you can attack the dust mite problem head on.

Tip #1: Wipe Out the Dust Mite Homes

The first thing you’ll want to do when it comes to removing dust mites is to remove their havens. This could mean pulling up the wall-to-wall carpeting and installing hardwood floors. Carpeting is a perfect spot for dust mites to generate. Maybe you’re keeping the visible carpet clean, but what about all those fibers under sofas and chairs? If hardwood isn’t an option, then consider carpets made from natural fibers that are easier to keep clean. Remember, your family’s health is at stake.

Tip #2: Protect Your Mattresses

Over the course of a mattress’s lifetime, it can literally add up to ten pounds of dead skin and dust mites. That’s a lot to sleep with! You can use dust mite-proof covers for your mattresses to will keep those critters at bay. Just remember to wash those covers as often as you wash your sheets, and in hot water.

Tip #3: ABV — Always Be Vacuuming

Carpets, rugs, pillows and furniture: They should all be thoroughly vacuumed at least twice a week. You want to make sure your vacuum cleaner is working with a clean HEPA filter and bags that don’t leak. Even with those precautions, you should still keep your child out of the room during and for several hours after the vacuums to avoid accidental exposure as those dust mites are kicked up.

Tip #4: Properly Ventilate Your Home

Sealing your home to keep the warm air in during the winter and cool air in during the summer can certainly make things cozy. However, you might also be trapped with dust mites that are blowing through the air filters. Make sure you replace those filters as recommended by the manufacturer. That holds true for any air ducts and the actual furnaces and AC units.

Tip #5: Pay Attention to the Floors

Even with hardwood, you still have to pay attention to those floors. Time to get down and see things from your child’s perspective. You’ll probably notice all those corners and crevices where dust is accumulating. Those are the spots you need to zap with the vacuum or wipe with a damp cloth.

You could bring in an air purifier for some help — but these devices often aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Dust mites aren’t typically airborne. Yes, they can get kicked up, but they aren’t always flying. That means an air purifier can’t get at them. It’s easy to get rid of dust mites with a regular and thorough cleaning regimen.

Anum Yoon started and maintains Current on Currency, where she shares her hard-earned insights on money management. Catch her updates on Twitter @anumyoon.anum