Back to School… Back to Fall Allergies!

If your child suddenly seems to have a constant runny nose, itchy eyes, a cough and sneezing, they could be dealing with allergens in their classroom. Kids can be allergic to dust in the classroom, or there might be pollen coming in through open windows. And don’t forget about mold – often found in bathrooms and locker rooms – as well as dander from pets that other kids may bring in on clothing and backpacks. If your child seems to have symptoms that came on around the time school started, make an appointment with an allergist. An allergist can set your child on the right track, for the long term, to handle their allergies or asthma.

While we can’t always control classroom allergies there are some things we can do around the house to help with those pesky fall allergies. When you come in from outside, make sure the pollen doesn’t come in with you. Leave your shoes at the door and throw clothes in the washing machine. Shower and wash hair in the evening before bed so you’re not sleeping with pollen and getting it on your pillow and in your nose. Keep windows closed and run the A/C in both your home and your car. Monitor pollen and mold counts online so you can determine when it’s best to stay inside.

Whether it’s ragweed, which is fall’s most prominent pollen, or another type, keeping pollen out of your life means fewer allergy symptoms. You might be surprised at how much your air ducts play a part in allergy and asthma issues.  Your air ducts, used in your heating and cooling systems, can actually become one of the biggest sources of dust and filth in your home if not regularly cleaned, and remember, they’re ventilating that impure air throughout your entire house. Not cleaning your air ducts is pretty much the equivalent of sweeping your home and then tossing all the dirt back onto one of the carpets.

In one year, the average family generates nearly forty pounds (!!!) worth of dust annually. This doesn’t even take into account the pet hair, mold, and dust that blows in through your open windows. Not cleaning your air ducts means that most of this dirt doesn’t leave your home and remains in constant circulation throughout it, proving hellish to someone who suffers from allergies. Cleaning your air ducts makes the air healthier, and in addition to helping alleviate allergies, it will help to prevent you from developing respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

Most companies suggest changing your air filters every 3 months. If allergies are a problem or you’re dealing with pet hair, consider swapping them out sooner, like every 6-8 weeks. Not only will it help with dust particles, it will help your system run more effectively.

Start planning and preparing now and your allergy symptoms will likely be much less severe, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty the fall season brings, sneeze and wheeze free!


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