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Dec 6th, 2013

Are Your Holiday Decorations Making You Sick?

by Carmen Scott

Category: Articles, Information & Tips on Parenting

During the winter months most of us spend more time indoors, which exposes us to allergens and irritants like dust mites, pet dander, and household cleaners; and for individuals who suffer from allergies this can make their lives miserable.

The holidays are when we decorate our homes with the decorations that we have been collecting for years, and every year these items collect more dust and mold spores and then are placed back in their boxes only to return the following year.

To keep the allergens to a minimum, take the artificial greenery, including the tree, outside and give it a good shake (or vacuum) before packing it away, and be sure to remove the dust from all other holiday decorations, with a quick wipe with a damp cloth.

Besides dust mites, mold spores can cause additional problems for allergy suffers, because mold spores can grow anywhere that has moisture and oxygen.

Here are some tips to keep mold and dust allergies in check during the winter months.

~Turn on exhaust fans when taking a shower to reduce humidity. When using a humidifier or dehumidifier make sure that you maintain an indoor humidity level of 30 - 40 percent.

~Use a HEPA vacuum to reduce pet allergens and remove dust mites.

~Change the furnace filters regularly, this will help prevent the recirculation of indoor pollutants such as dust mites.

~Wash sheets, including the pillow cases and pajamas in hot water to kill dust mites.

~Wash your hands after playing with pets, and avoid having your pets sleep on the bed.

~Check for signs of mold and identify areas that smell musty or may be at risk for mold growth, such as shower curtain or window frames.

During the winter months, make a commitment to vacuum and dust at least twice a week, change the bed linen once a week, change your pillowcase twice a week, use eco-friendly cleaners and brush your pets 3 to 4 times a week.

This commitment will keep the allergens in your home to a minimum, and ensure that your home is a happy and healthy place this holiday season.

SPCA  Outdoor Fun and Time Spent With Animals
Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria BC
SPCA  Outdoor Fun and Time Spent With Animals