Allergy Prevention: Don’t Forget the Kids
All too often, we focus on allergy prevention for adults, since our problems with dust mites, pollen, grasses, and other allergens have developed over longer periods of time. But children are among those who suffer the most from allergic reactions in response to immune system threats borne by allergens, and not just in the commonly discussed area of food allergies like those to nuts and dairy products.
Kids Suffer, Too
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, millions of children suffer from allergic rhinitis (hay fever), sinusitis, and skin allergies, with each of these affecting over seven million kids.
Common symptoms in children include skin rashes or hives (atopic dermatitis or eczema), difficulty breathing (asthma), sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and upset stomach. There are several triggers for these allergic responses, including tree and plant pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and mold.
For many parents, seeing their children—even as young babies—as they struggle with allergies, is heartbreaking. If you’re one of these parents, know that there are many things you can do to reduce allergies in the home, where you and your kids spend a large amount of time. It’s about controlling what you can, within your time and budget constraints.
More than Medicine
While many people turn to over-the-counter and prescription medications for relief, it’s also good to hit allergens at the source. For some allergens, the strategy is avoidance, as parents keep their kids inside during days of high pollen counts and keep their windows closed and air conditioning on during warm weather—keeping the air fresh without letting in pollen and grasses.
For other allergens, it’s a matter of hygiene, keeping surfaces wiped down and vacuumed with machines featuring HEPA filters. With still others, it’s a matter of air purification, running HEPA-filtered air purifiers to keep the most prevalent airborne allergens at bay.
Encasements: The Silver Bullet
But there’s one relatively small purchase that can contribute the most to the good fight against allergens in the home, and one with a tremendous return on investment. That purchase is encasements for your bedding—and that of your kids.
Pillow, mattress, and comforter encasements have been revolutionary in the prevention of allergens in the home. The most prevalent and plaguing allergens—dust mites—thrive in areas of the home that are warm and humid. Our bedrooms are typically these places, because we spend several hours in warm bedding, emitting body heat and perspiration for the duration of our stay in these enclosed spaces. Without encasement protection, dust mites and other allergens like bed bugs penetrate our bedding and then proliferate.
High-performance encasements take a two-fold approach to solving the ongoing problem of allergens like dust mites. First, they serve as a barrier, constructed of engineered fabrics, like those used in cleanrooms in highly regulated industries. The barrier comes from having microscopic pores, smaller than the insects and other allergens themselves, that don’t allow dust mites to penetrate while still wicking heat and perspiration away from the body.
This wicking property cuts down on the heat and humidity of the bedroom, thus creating a more hostile environment for allergens. In short, allergens simply can’t do what they need to do to make you or your children suffer, especially in the bedroom, where the majority of allergy problems lie in the home.
The Return on Investment
Many people begin their unfortunate journey with allergies as babies. For about 50 dollars, you can get a crib encasement that will greatly improve your baby’s health and wellness through allergy prevention.
For older kids, usually with twin beds, you can encase a pillow, mattress, and comforter, all for less than $300. The beauty of this investment not only lies in its effectiveness, as it drastically reduces allergens in the bedroom, but also in its longevity. High-performance encasements, if maintained gently and washed periodically at temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, typically last the lifetime of the bed, pillow, and comforter themselves.
Users of allergy bedding encasements are often able to save hundreds of dollars a year in medications and doctor business, all through taking strong preventive measures in the home. And it’s not just about the financial return—when you and your kids are healthier, your quality of life improves dramatically and enables much more fun time together.
From the crib to the king, there’s an encasement set waiting for you and your kids. Make this relatively small investment and say goodbye to the chronic runny noses, skin rashes, and breathing problems. Say hello to happier times, too.