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Allergy-proof your home for spring

With spring and summer come the sneezes of allergy season. While many look forward to warmer temperatures, green trees and blooming flowers, others may dread the influx of pollen and other allergens.

You see beauty, I see death by allergiesIf someone in your home has allergies to things outdoors, here are some suggestions from mayoclinic.org for easy things you can do to help everyone breathe easier.

Temperature and humidity: If your house is hot and/or humid, it’s a breeding ground for mold and dust mites. Allergy specialists recommend keeping the temperature of your home between 68 and 72 degrees, and making sure the humidity is at 50 percent or lower.

Bedding: Put dust-mite-proof covers on pillows, mattresses and box springs. Use bedding made of synthetic materials, which is easier to clean. Make sure to wash bedding in water heated to at least 130 degrees to kill dust mites.

Clutter: The more things you have sitting around, the more surfaces there are where dust can collect. Stuffed animals are one of the worst culprits in the bedroom for children. If your child has allergies, let them pick one or two favorites to sleep with. Put the rest of the stuffed animals in a corner or on a shelf away from the bed.

Floors: One of the best things you can do to help people with allergies is remove carpeting. Allergens get trapped in the carpet and the padding beneath, and it’s very difficult to remove them.

If you can’t get rid of your carpeting, use a vacuum that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. This will help remove and trap allergens.

Windows: Hang curtains that are washable and are made of plain cotton or synthetic fabrics. Take down the mini-blinds that collect dust and replace them with washable roller-type shades.

Pets: Bathe your pets at least once a week (yes, even the cats!) And keep them out of bedrooms.

Air quality: Use a HEPA filter in your furnace to keep allergens from circulating. Use a dehumidifier in the basement and other damp places.

For more details, check out the complete list of tips at mayoclinic.org.

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