If your child is asthmatic or gets the sniffles and sneezes a lot, there is a likelihood that they are being aggravated by dust mites in your home. Bedtime can be the worst time for the irritation of their sensitive sinuses and when your child doesn't sleep well, neither do you. Here are some ways you can reduce dust mites and other allergens in your child's bed.
Sanitise Soft Toys & Blankets
Maintain a regular routine for washing soft toys. Most will survive a cool hand-wash cycle just fine, even when the care label states, sponge clean only. Unfortunately, cooler temperatures won't get rid of all the dust mites, so after the toys have dried, place them in zip-lock plastic bags and freeze them. After 24 hours, you can remove them from the freezer, give them a good shake and return them to your child. It might be worth buying duplicates of the ones that will be missed too much at tuck-in time.
If your child has a blankie, you can wash it at 50ºC then dry it so it can be back within the day.
Wash the Bedding
Invest in a couple of good quality mattress protectors and always have one encasing the mattress. This will help to prevent dust mites getting into the mattress in the first place. Wash the sheets and covers regularly and again, use a 50ºC wash as the higher temperature is more likely to kill the dust mites. Replace pillows every 6 months to keep them fresh.
Steam Clean the Mattress
Even with mattress protectors, the mattress is the main culprit for harbouring dust mites and other allergy triggers. The only sure way of removing them is to have the mattress professionally steam-cleaned at least once a year. Steam-cleaning allows the heat to penetrate into the deepest fibres and core of the mattress, killing any dust mites present. The dirt blown out by the steam is suctioned up and leaves the mattress slightly damp, but extremely clean.
The mattress will dry again after a few hours; wait until it is fully dry before making the bed or mould can form and also cause allergic reactions. Learn more about this option by contacting resources like Dry King.
Take Care of Other Rooms
Whilst having the mattress steam-cleaned it would be advisable to have your sofa and any upholstered chairs steam-cleaned too. Couches in particular are notorious for harbouring dust mites. Steam cleaning will also remove any persistent stains and the grubby marks that are part of regular contact with small children.