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Ways to Relieve Kids' Allergies

With allergies spiking from spring to fall, keeping your home free of dust mites and pollen is difficult. Find relief with the help of Paul Williams, M.D., a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

By Maria Masters

#1 Tactic: Do a clean sweep.
Target the areas where your child spends most of his time, like the bedroom or family room. If possible, remove the carpet. Dust mites are heavy and settle deep into the fibers, making them difficult to eliminate. Washable area rugs are better; launder them weekly. Vacuum with a machine that has a high-efficiency particulate are (HEPA) filter.

#2 Tactic: Skip the scented products.
People with allergies may be sensitive to plug-in air fresheners and fragrance-infused cleaners and candles. They emit irritants called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which in high concentrations can cause headaches and runny noses.

#3 Tactic: Monitor your home's humidity levels.
During the summer, the increased moisture in the air causes mold and dust mites to thrive. Keep the levels below 50% with a dehumidifier, says Dr. Williams. You can also measure the moisture with a hygrometer, which is available at hardware stores.

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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