Precaution for dust mite prevention
Dust sensitive individuals, especially those with allergies and asthma, can reduce some of their misery by creating a “Dust free environment”. Dust may contain molds, fibers, and dander from dogs, cats and other animals, as well as tiny dust mites. These mites, which live in bedding, upholstered furniture and carpets, thrive in the summer and die in the winter. The particles seen floating in a shaft of sunlight include dead mites and their waste products. The waste products actually provoke the allergic reaction.
The routine cleaning necessary to maintain a dust–free bedroom can also help reduce cockroaches, another important cause of asthma in some allergic people. Most people cannot control dust conditions under which they work or spend their daylight hours. But everyone can, to a large extent, eliminate dust from the bedroom.
To create a dust–free bedroom, it is necessary to reduce the number of surfaces on which dust can collect. In the Indian context most houses have limited carpet use and it is very important to keep them clean by dusting, vacuuming, washing if possible and by exposure to sunlight. Treatment of carpet surfaces by certain solutions like tannic acid has been tried, but tannic acid is an irritant to some people and removal of the carpet is often more effective.
- All beds and blankets in the house should be regularly dusted and exposed to sunlight.
- Keep all animals with fur or feathers out of the room. People allergic to dust mites are often allergic to cats, dogs as well as other animals.
- Sheets, blankets and other bedclothes should be washed frequently in water that is at least 50°c. Lower temperatures will not kill dust mites. If you set your hot water temperature to a lower value (which is commonly done to prevent children from scalding themselves), wash items at a commercial establishment that uses high wash temperatures.
- Keep furniture and furnishings to a minimum. Avoid upholstered furniture and venetian blinds. A wooden or metal chair that can be scrubbed may be used in the bedroom. If desired, hang plain, lightweight curtains on the windows. Wash the curtains once a week at 50°c.
- To prepare the room for a dust sensitive person, clean the room thoroughly and completely once a week, clean the floors, furniture, tops of doors, window frames, sills, etc., with a damp cloth or oil mop, air the room thoroughly, then close the doors and windows until the person is ready to occupy the room.
- If the dust sensitive person is a child, keep toys that accumulate dust out of the bedroom. Avoid stuffed toys, use only washable toys of wood, rubber, metal or plastic and store them in a closed toy box or chest.