Tips to reducing triggers around your home
At the National Asthma Council Australia, we know that if you are one of the 7 million Australians with allergy or the 2 million with asthma, you want to know how you could improve the health and wellbeing of you and your family. That’s why we developed the Sensitive Choice® program.
The Sensitive Choice® blue butterfly symbol is a way of recognising products and services from companies that support asthma and allergy care. Products that carry the blue butterfly may be better choices for people with asthma and allergies.
From bedding, to carpets, to cleaning products, the Sensitive Choice® program has over 200 products and services carrying the blue butterfly. Through a partnership between the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand and the National Asthma Council Australia, New Zealanders are also able to benefit from this program.
The right products are just the beginning, below are some tips to help reduce the impact of some of the common household triggers for asthma and allergies- House dust mites, mould and pets.
Make sure the person with the allergy doesn’t do the vacuuming, dusting or pet grooming – ask them to stay out of the room while it’s happening and then for about 20 minutes afterwards while the air settles
House dust mites
House dust mites are tiny little creatures that feed off human skin scales. Their droppings are a common cause of allergies in humid parts of Australia.
In the bedroom:
• Wash sheets and pillow cases weekly in water hotter than 55°C
• Remove soft toys from bedrooms, or wash weekly in water hotter than 55°C
• Let your bedding air in the sunshine
• Cover mattresses, quilts and pillows with dust mite-resistant encasings
Around the house:
• Use a damp or electrostatic cloth to dust hard surfaces (including floors) – this dramatically reduces the dust in the air while cleaning
• Vacuum carpets, curtains and upholstery regularly using a vacuum with a motorised brush and a HEPA filter
• Keep rooms dry and well-ventilated – good insulation helps make your home comfortable for you, not the dust mites!
• Clear out the clutter. Fewer places for dust to collect means fewer dust mites, and it also makes your home easier to keep clean
• Remember to clean blinds and curtains regularly
• Consider house dust mite measures when building or renovating
Ways to deal with mould
A home that is damp has visible mould, mildew or a musty smell can cause problems.
• Remove visible mould by cleaning with bleach or other mould reduction cleaners
• Seal any leaks in bathrooms and roofs
• Use extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen
• Clear overflowing gutters and blocked underfloor vents
• Remove indoor pot plants (these can promote mould growth)
If you are very sensitive to mould or are troubled by bleach odours, you may need to wear a facemask while cleaning or have someone else do it for you.
Living with your family Pet
• Always wash your hands after touching or feeding your pet
• Keep your pet outside most or all of the time, making sure they have a safe, warm home outdoors
• Never let your pet into the bedroom
• After resettling your pet outside, clean the house thoroughly to remove sticky allergens left behind
• Clean hard floors with a damp cloth or a steam mop
• Remember to clean air ducts too
• Groom and wash your pet regularly (but not more than your vet recommends)
• Keep pets off carpets, rugs and soft furnishings
To learn more about asthma and allergy sensitive products for your family, visit http://www.sensitivechoice.com.au/