Home Sick

Your home and haven though should be the source of comfort and peace, can also be the source of illness!  Your occasional sneezing and watery eyes may stem from bedding and carpeting.  Headaches and dizziness can be the result of everyday household chemicals or fumes disturbing your body.  Understand the common culprits in allergic and common colds can be right in your home.  Here some ways you can help your family not get sick from your home.

1.) Use household cleaners that have natural ingredients: Multi-surface cleaners, sprays, and everyday household cleaners could have VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) in them.  These compounds evaporate into the air and later are inhaled.  A lot of household cleaners such as bleach and cleansers have noxious fumes that are irritants and can make you sick.  Instead, opt for cleaners that use natural products such as vinegar, baking soda, water, and hydrogen peroxide.

2.) Ventilate your home: Fresh air should pass through your home as much as possible.  Even hot summers and cold winters, when we prefer to keep the windows closed, it’s important to keep it properly ventilated.  When using cleaning products, unpacking new furniture, or moving into a new home, “off gassing” occurs and can be harmful if inhaled for long periods of time. Consider storing furniture in a basement, or garage if possible before bringing into the main home. While cleaning, open windows and take frequent breaks to go inhale fresh air.

3.) Wash household bedding and clean carpets regularly. Dust mites and bed bacteria (bed bugs!) are typical of everyone’s beds.  To keep down the spread, use removable pillow cases and wash regularly. Similarly, with your carpet have it professionally cleaned if possible on a regular basis.  Outside dirt, pet dander, dust, and pollen are common indoor allergens that settle in furniture and carpets. Vacuum carpets regularly to keep the amount of settlements to a minimum.

4.) Change the air conditioning filter regularly. A dirty filter will lead to dirty air.  To keep your family from sneezing, replace the A/C filters directed by your unit.  If your unit is old or worn, consider having a certified air conditioning and heating specialist service your unit. They will explain how to maintain its life for years to come, and tell you the correct size of replacement filters to use.

5.) In children’s rooms wash toys, stuffed animals, and surfaces. Don’t forget your kid’s toys!  Particularly with smaller children, where toys are often placed in their mouths, it’s important these toys be clean!  Stuffed animals are a breeding ground for germs, allergens, and everyday dirt. Teddy bears need washing…so place their stuffed animals with the weekly laundry.  Consider using cleaning wipes for quick tidying, and wipe down toys, and perhaps place in the dishwasher if possible!