How to Stop Allergies at Home

Your home hides more allergens than you might expect.

Your home hides more allergens than you might expect. Between dust mites, pet dander, mold, and even pest-droppings, your home may be the source of all your allergy problems. Instead of suffering through the watery, itchy eyes and constant sniffles, here are some tips to seek out those allergy-causing culprits and banish them. Watch the video for six ways that you can stop your home from giving you allergies-from cleaning strategies to the right equipment to use.

Bust your clutter: Dust mites, bugs, and mold thrive in old newspapers, magazines, and cans. Recycle them!

Be one with your vacuum: Carpets and rugs hide pet dander and mites. A high-efficiency particulate air filter can trap tiny particles.

Launder your bedding: Wash sheets in 130º water weekly to remove allergens.

Scrub your bathroom: Moist bathroom walls breed mold. Clean with a solution made of 1 part bleach and 32 parts H20.

Purge pests: Mice and roach droppings can aggravate allergies.

Close the windows: Especially between high-pollen-count hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Teal Pumpkin Project Could Be Saving Lives this Halloween

Teal pumpkins raise awareness about a widespread issue for trick-or-treaters.

Trick-or-treaters and their parents may notice teal pumpkins set out in front of homes as they hit the streets for candy this Halloween.

The blue-hued pumpkins are painted as part of the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative through the organization Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) that encourages those celebrating Halloween to raise awareness of food allergies. The meaning behind the teal pumpkins is to include children who want to trick-or-treat, but cannot always eat candy because they contain allergens.

“Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies,” reads the Teal Pumpkin Project website. “Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies.”

To open up Halloween to children with allergies, people are asked to hand out inexpensive toys or other non-food treats in lieu of candy and set out a teal pumpkin to indicate an allergy-friendly home. According to FARE, teal is the color that symbolizes food allergy awareness.

To see which homes in your area are participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, check out this map from FARE, which lists homes with teal pumpkins by location. You can indicate that your home will welcome children with allergies by clicking the plus sign on the map, and adding your name and address.

For those who hesitate to break away from the tradition of handing out candy, FARE suggests keeping edible treats in a separate bowl from the toys.

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