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A Guide For Parents: Controlling the Home Environment for the Asthmatic Child

General Principles
  • Avoid contact with pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, gerbils, and other animals.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke.
  • Control humidity, but avoid belt-type humidifiers, because fungi and bacteria live on the belts.
  • Install ventilators for appliances like stoves, when possible.
  • Make sure the home is properly ventilated.
  • Keep the heating system and its filters well maintained.
  • Minimize use of rugs.
  • Vacuum away from children to avoid dust inhalation.
  • Use and store chemicals wisely.

Nonallergenic Cleaning Agents
Many nonallergenic cleaning agents are available at supermarkets and hardware stores. Some of these are listed below:
  • Ammonia: General household cleaner for windows, silver, glass, crystal (use plain, not sudsy or lemon-scented).
  • Baking soda: General household cleaner and room or refrigerator deodorizer. May be sprinkled on rugs before vacuuming.
  • Furniture polishes with beeswax, lemon oil, raw linseed oil, mineral oil, olive oil, paste wax. Make sure that vegetable oils have not turned rancid. Olive oil can be used to clean pewter.
  • Nonchlorine bleaches: Household or laundry cleaner.
  • Charcoal Room or refrigerator deodorizer: Use in packets; close off room for period of time.
  • Club soda: Spot remover for clothing or rugs. Pour on spot, let set, sponge up.
  • Soap: Avoid deodorant soaps - choose unscented or mild soaps.
  • White or apple cider vinegar: Mix with water to remove mold, mineral deposits, crayon marks, wallpaper

Dust Control in the Child's Bedroom
  • Avoid rugs. Use only bare wood or tile floors.
  • Use plain, simple furniture. Avoid overstuffed furniture, shelves, pictures, and other dust catchers.
  • Avoid stuffed animals.
  • Keep all clothes in closets with closet doors shut. Wool clothing, even in closets, should be kept in heavy-duty plastic bags.
  • Avoid venetian blinds. Washable window shades are suggested.
  • Pillows should be of a washable, synthetic material. They should be well covered.
  • If house has forced-air heating system, turn it off in bedroom and use electric heat if possible.
  • Mattresses should be covered with plastic material that has been aired until all odor is gone. Bedding should be washed about once a week.
  • Use washable, synthetic blankets. Avoid fuzzy cotton or wool blankets.

  1. Venetian blinds - dust catchers
  2. Cigarette smoke
  3. Overstuffed cushion - dust catchers
  4. Ventilation louvers - dust catchers
  5. Books and bookshelves - dust catchers
  6. Closet door ajar - allows dust to settle on clothing
  7. Pet dog - may carry allergenic dander
  8. Stuffed toy - dust catchers
  9. Vacuuming - raises dust


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