Parents of Allergenic Children: How Do You Clean???

Updated on February 02, 2011
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
5 answers

My son is allergic to dust mites and dogs -- both of which we have in the house. Our dog is small and we keep her out of our son's bedroom at all times. Plus, there is a humidifier and air purifier in his room. His pilow and mattress have an allergenic casing. I admit we don't vacuum or dust as often as I think we should. How often do you vacuum/dust? Anything else you do to keep your children breathing free and clear? My Dr. is talking about putting our son on "controller medicine" and I'm really scared about the effects of long term medication but don't want to get rid of my dog (is this being selfish??)...not to mention we can't get rid of dust mites. Argh. Some tips please. Thank you!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I vacuum & swiffer the house once a week. I wash sheets once a week also. Keep his bedroom door closed so the cat doesn't go in. Vacuum all the heater vents once a week too.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

We have all tile in the house and leather furniture. We have no curtains and wipe the wood blinds with a damp sponge weekly. Only a mat at the doors and by the tubs. Those get washed in boiling water weekly.

We TOLD people not to buy her stuffed animals because most don't hold up to freezing weekly or being washed in such hot water. Certain relatives still gave her stuffed animals so we rotate which ones are in the freezer that day. Of course most get given to the children police help in emergencies.

We dust weekly with a wet towel. We can only use cleaning chemicals when I am home alone due to the smell and their reactions. I tried steam mops and steam, but the machines wear out and the steam does not really clean deep dirt off of tile.

Make sure the windows are sealed shut to keep dust out. Also put filters in the HVAC ducts and sweep them and change them monthly.
We can not open the windows very often.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We had our youngest son tested for allergies last winter and found he was allergic to Timothy grass (we live on a farm - it's everywhere), dogs, and cats. Our son was miserable at the time and had constant ear infections which the doctor thought was from drainage from allergies. At the time we had 3 dogs and 2 cats.

One cat died. I was crushed (she was 18), but it probably helped with the allergy situation. We put the other cat outside. She was killed by a coyote. I was devastated - felt horribly guilty. We found a good home for one dog. We still have the other two. We bathe both dogs twice a month and keep them out of C's room.

We got him a new mattress with hypoallergenic pad and pillow/pillowcase. We have wood floors in most of the house. I vaccuum every other day and swiffer daily. We had all of our cloth windowcoverings drycleaned, and now vaccuum them often. My teenage son cleans the wooden blinds throughout the house weekly. We dust everything in the house twice a week. We change our air filter (and use a good air filter) once a month. C has an air purifier in his room. I change C's bedding weekly. Whenever he plays outside, he has to wash his hair.

All that being said, I really think the medication makes the biggest difference. He takes Zyrtek nightly, but only seasonally. Going by the numbers on the allergy test, he seemed to be most allergic to dogs and cats. The numbers were as high as they could go, but in reality he seems to be more allergic to the Timothy grass, or something more seasonal. He takes Zyrtek from April-September, and is fine without meds throughout fall and winter. It's interesting.

I don't think you're selfish at all for wanting to keep your dog. Pets are a part of the family. I hope you are able to get your son's allergies under control.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I could love no pet more than my child. Nothing would keep me from making my child as comfortable as possible. If that means getting rid of Fluffy, so be it! Find a better home with no allergies and visit now and then.

When you dust, be sure you are not creating more dust. Dust with something 'wet' or with a microcloth or something that 'grabs' the dust. Get a good vacuum with a hepa filter. (Dyson is great for fine dust and pet dander.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Alexandria on

This is not an easy fix, but something to think about; what kind of floors do you have? Carpet? Carpets are the worst for trapping dust and pet dander. No amount of vacuuming is going to get it all up either.

My daughter has severe allergies and I felt like we were living in a Hepa-bubble! We had dogs in the house before she came along, but kicked the dogs outside when she started having problems. Our house did not have a dog in it for 2 years. We vacuumed at least every other day. It was appalling how much dog hair was still in the house when we moved.
I know you love your dog, but your son's health is surely more important. Please consider finding your dog a new loving home. And if and when it is possible make sure you live in a carpet free home.

My daughter was on daily medications a nebulizer when she would get sick (which was often). Then we moved out of the smog filled valley into clean air. Out of carpet house to all wood floors. She hasn't taken medications at all since we moved, and hasn't been sick either.

1 mom found this helpful
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