Your Child's Allergies: Dust Mites
What is a dust mite?
Dust mites are microscopic organisms that live in homes and schools. They like warm, humid environments best. Dust mites feed on the shed scales of human skin that work their way into furniture, carpets, bedding, and stuffed toys. The bodies and waste products of the dust mite are what produce allergic reactions and asthma. The mites live in:
Cat and dog beds
Bedding and pillows
Dust mites are common allergens. That means they often cause allergic symptoms. They can also worsen symptoms in many people with asthma. The best way to prevent dust mites is to limit your child's exposure. If your child is allergic to dust mites, decrease their exposure with the following:
Beds. Use a wooden or metal bed frame. Don't let your child sleep on a couch, sofa, or hide-a-bed. If your child has allergies or asthma and sleeps in a bunk bed, he or she should sleep on the top bunk.
Mattress and box spring. Place all mattresses and box springs in zippered, dust-proof covers. These should have pores that are too small to let the dust mites get into your mattress and box spring. Tape over the zippers with electrical or duct tape.
Pillows. Put pillows in zippered, dust-proof covers with pores too small to let the dust mites get into pillows. Pillows should be made synthetic fiber. Don't use foam, feather, or down pillows.
Bedding. Wash all bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets) in hot water (130°F) to kill the dust mites.
Floor coverings. If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpeting. If not, vacuum the carpet often (at least twice a week).
Vacuum when your child is out of the room and won't return for several hours. Try vacuum bags or vacuums designed to reduce allergens.
Wood, tile, or vinyl flooring without a rug is best. Mop it at least once a week. Small, washable cotton rugs may be used if washed often.
Dehumidifier. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity to less than 50%.
Stuffed animals or other soft toys. Limit the number of soft toys to 2 or 3. Buy stuffed toys that are machine washable.
Keep them off the bed and wash them about once a month to remove dust mites. They can also be put in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRCDeborah Pedersen MDMarianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2018
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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- Pollen and Children
- Symptomatic Conditions of Allergy in Children
- Treatment for a Child's Allergy
- Types of Allergens
- Acetaminophen; Guaifenesin; Phenylephrine oral solution
- Acetaminophen; Phenyltoloxamine oral tablets
- Brompheniramine; Carbetapentane; Phenylephrine Oral Suspension
- Brompheniramine chewable tablets
- Brompheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Pseudoephedrine oral drops
- Brompheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Pseudoephedrine oral solution
- Brompheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Pseudoephedrine oral suspension
- Brompheniramine extended-release tablets or capsules
- Brompheniramine oral liquid
- Brompheniramine oral suspension
- Carbetapentane; Phenylephrine Oral Suspension
- Carbetapentane; Pseudoephedrine oral suspension
- Chlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine oral drops
- Chlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine oral ER tablets
- Chlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine oral solution or syrup
- Chlorpheniramine, Dextromethorphan; Pseudoephedrine oral liquid
- Chlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Pseudoephedrine Oral Suspension
- Chlorpheniramine; Phenylephrine oral capsule or tablet, extended release
- Chlorpheniramine; Phenylephrine oral solution, syrup or liquid
- Chlorpheniramine; Pseudoephedrine capsules or ER tablets
- Chlorpheniramine; Pseudoephedrine oral solution or syrup
- Chlorpheniramine; Pseudoephedrine tablets
- Desloratadine; Pseudoephedrine Extended-Release Tablets
- Dexchlorpheniramine; Dextromethorphan; Pseudoephedrine oral suspension
- Dexchlorpheniramine oral solution
- Dexchlorpheniramine oral tablets
- Dextromethorphan; Diphenhydramine; Phenylephrine oral suspension
- Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine; Pyrilamine oral solution or syrup
- Dextromethorphan; Phenylephrine; Pyrilamine oral suspension
- Methylprednisolone Solution for Injection
- Methylprednisolone Suspension for Injection
- Methylprednisolone tablets
- Prednisone delayed-release tablets
- Prednisone oral solution
- Prednisone tablets
- Promethazine injection
- Promethazine oral solution or syrup
- Promethazine suppositories
- Promethazine tablets
- Triamcinolone dental paste
- Triamcinolone injection
- Triamcinolone nasal spray
- Triamcinolone oral inhaler
- Triamcinolone skin cream, ointment, lotion, or aerosol
- Triamcinolone tablets