With anti allergy week coming up in April we wanted to look at how we can help protect ourselves and our children through the summer months and beyond. It’s hard to do much about the allergies in the great outdoors, but there are measures we can take inside the home. We’ve been speaking to Slumberdown, a UK based bedding provider who have given us some facts and tips when it comes to dust mites; and more importantly how to reduce their numbers, within the home.
Why are dust mites a problem?
Dust mites are only 0.03mm in length and can’t be seen by the naked eye, but unfortunately this doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Although they aren’t the biggest of creepy crawlies, they can have some negative effects on our health. Over 80% of asthma sufferers have some form of allergic reaction to the critters, which have also been linked to eczema and allergic rhinitis. What’s even worse is it’s not the dust mites themselves that cause the allergic reaction to us humans, but their waste. With each mite producing around 20 droppings a day it’s not hard to see why we don’t want them in our homes.
Reducing dust mite numbers
The mites feed on dead skin cells and tend to thrive in humid conditions, making our bedrooms and especially our beds an ideal living environment for them. Although there is no full proof way to completely eradicate dust mites from our homes, we can significantly hinder their existence by following these steps –
-Use anti allergy bedding products, from pillows and duvets to mattress and pillow protectors. These products inhibit the growth and spread of mites and also prevent bacteria and fungus from growing within our bedding. Look for products with the Allergy UK’s Seal of Approval, as this ensures it has been tried and tested.
– Make sure clothes aren’t left to dry within your bedroom, and ensure clothes are completely dry before putting them away.
– If you do suffer from allergies, carpeted rooms aren’t best. A wooden floor will help protect you, but where this isn’t feasible make sure carpets are hovered regularly and with a high-filtration device where possible.
– Wash your bedding often and at over 60 degrees. This should kill any mites within your sheets, but won’t prevent them from re-infesting afterwards from any clothing, carpets or soft furnishings etc which is why regularity is essential.
– Open windows to reduce humidity. Keeping rooms well aired can help reduce the amount of mites. It has been said mites prosper in heats of 18-24 degrees, so anything below this should assist in minimizing their numbers.
– If your child has any soft toys, such as teddies or special pillows wash these same as you do the bedding (at 60 degrees or over). If washing them isn’t an option, try putting them in a plastic bag in the freezer.
For a full product range which includes anti allergy, stockists or further sleep tips you can visit the Slumberdown website at: www.slumberdown.co.uk