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The Allergy-Proof Mattress: 3 Things To Consider For Your Child's Bed

If your child suffers from nasal allergies and respiratory issues such as asthma, you've probably done your best to make his or her environment as comfortable as possible. Other than regular vacuuming and dusting, did you know that choosing the right mattress and accessories can also make a difference in reducing your child's allergy symptoms? Choosing a twin mattress that allows air to circulate without trapping heat and humidity may help minimize dust mites that trigger allergy symptoms. Hypoallergenic mattress covers designed for twin mattresses may help as well.

Here are considerations to help you provide an allergy-proof bed for your child:

1. Choose the Right Mattress and Foundation

Although traditional twin-size innerspring mattresses are often chosen for children, due to the support and comfort, the spring coils have gaps that may trap dust mites and their excrement. If your child seems to wake with a runny nose and congestion, as well as watery, itchy eyes, his or her bed may be the culprit.

For your allergy-prone child, you might want to consider a latex foam mattress as an alternative to the innerspring. If your child is allergic to latex, choose a natural organic latex mattress that is wrapped in a protective layer such as wool, to prevent skin contact. You might also consider a memory foam twin mattress. Either choice is good for allergy sufferers, as both materials do not have the cavities that trap dust mites and irritants. Basically, these mattresses are constructed with a solid core of supportive foam, so when purchasing the bed (through a place like Merlins TV) ask if they are an option.

When choosing your child's twin foundation, avoid using any type of plywood. Doing so may trap dust and harbor particles that may trigger allergy symptoms in your child. An all-in-one foundation for your child's latex or memory foam mattress is a good choice, as it is constructed of one solid piece, without any nooks and crannies to harbor dust.

2. Use a Hypoallergenic Mattress Cover

If latex is not an option for your child's mattress, you can help reduce dust mites and mildew with the use of a proper mattress protector. Encasing the mattress will provide a barrier between the mattress and your child's skin. The mattress pad may be labeled as an "organic dust mite cover". For quality, you should look for a product that is listed as certified organic cotton, as it will be "breathable" and not trap heat and humidity.

Another important aspect pertaining to dust mite covers is the proper pore size. This refers to the space of air between each fiber of fabric in your cover. For the best protection, choose a cover with a low pore size. Typically, a six micron pore size or less is suitable, as it will not allow penetration of dust mites and their feces.

3. Vacuum Your Child's Mattress and Wash the Sheets Weekly

Assuming your child sleeps on a standard twin size innerspring mattress encased with a dust mite cover, how else can you keep allergens at bay? Consider a few simple rules and be diligent about following them. Here are a few guidelines:

As part of the routine, you will want to wash your child's sheets and pillowcase at least once a week. Always wash the sheets and pillowcase in hot water to destroy dust mites. Do the same with your child's blanket. Follow instructions for proper care of the dust mite cover or encasement.

You should also vacuum your child's mattress periodically. This will help to reduce the dust mites dramatically. For best results, use a vacuum cleaner with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration. This will help trap particles your child may breathe in.

To vacuum the mattress, use a specialized tool attachment for upholstery. This is sometimes referred to as a crevice tool. Don't forget to vacuum along the edges and the pillow top stitching if applicable. For added protection, use a garment steamer to destroy dust mites that may be lurking in the crevices of your child's mattress.