Fighting Baby Allergies During Spring and Summer

A runny nose is only one of the many symptoms that may indicate a baby allergy. If your child has red, itchy eyes, rubs their nose often and when you wipe their nose the discharge is clear, these are other indicators of an allergy. Typically children do not show signs of outdoor allergies until the age of three. Though indoor pollutants such as mold and dust may affect children as young as six months. Here are some steps to help prevent baby allergies in the home.

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Look for telltale signs of allergens in your baby

Observe

Watch when your baby experiences symptoms the most, excessive sneezing or fussiness because of itchy eyes, etc.  If they exhibit heightened symptoms while in their crib, the culprit may be dust mites in the crib bedding or dust or mold in the nursery.

Clean

A thorough cleaning may reduce allergens in a specific environment like the baby’s room. Dust everything, including normally unnoticeable areas like the blades on a ceiling fan, vents in the room and the tops of door sills. Also look for signs of mold, possibly around windows where moisture is getting in. Replace crib bedding with hypoallergenic mattresses and sheets.

Purify

Run an air purifier in the nursery. Check out air purifier reviews to find the best one for your needs. However, a HEPA air purifier is key for cleaning indoor air, capturing most airborne particles including allergens. You may also want to get one that has a carbon filter for odors, a nice feature for diaper changes.  Many air purifiers like the AeraMax Baby Air Purifiers have extra quiet performance so as not to disturb babies as they sleep.

Asthma Rates in Children Rise. School Facility Managers Seek Solution

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Asthma rates in children under the age of 5 have increased 160% over a 14-year period.

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Asthma is the most common illness in childhood and the leading cause of absenteeism among school-aged children. It is often triggered by common airborne contaminants including dust, mold, allergens and viral respiratory infections, such as the flu. Unfortunately, people with asthma are more likely to suffer severe complications from influenza, which frequently spreads through the air in common areas such as classrooms, restrooms and locker rooms.

Asthma and allergies can also be triggered by poor building conditions, hazardous building materials or even cleaning supplies. Half the schools in the U.S. have IAQ complaints stemming from these factors. Workplaces often have similar problems, especially in restrooms, conference rooms and break rooms that regularly experience high traffic. In these areas, HVAC adjustments often can’t adequately address the problem.

Approximately 1 in 4 buildings, including schools and offices, suffer from sick building syndrome (SBS) because of poor indoor air quality.

Buildings with SBS often cause immediate symptoms such as dizziness, focusing difficulties and nausea for many occupants. They also create unsafe environments for those with allergies and asthma.

Optimizing Schools with Air Purification 

To minimize asthma reactions at school, many educational facility managers are turning  to new indoor air purification systems like AeraMax for protecting indoor environments during the school season. These commercial air cleaners purify the air in common areas such as schools, offices, waiting rooms, restrooms, and other areas of high concentrations of contaminants. The True HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants including viruses and allergens and the activated carbon filter reduces odors and VOCs. AeraMax commercial air purifier product line also features patented EnviroSmart technology that detects the environment and automatically adjusts performance.

Schools Step Up

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Checklist for Creating a Healthy Nursery

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When decorating a nursery, our thoughts usually go to the color of the paint and the style of the crib. But there are many practical ways to create a nursery that is also healthier for your baby. Here is a quick checklist:

VOC-free paint. VOC’s, or volatile organic compounds, found in many house paints continue to release fumes even after the paint dries. Choose an interior paint without these harmful additives.

Solid wood nursery furniture. Engineered wood, wood finishes and upholstery materials can release potentially harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, which is often used as a binding agent. Get solid wood over pressed wood furniture to avoid these harsh chemicals.

Organic crib mattresses. Babies sleep on a mattress for 10-14 hours or more a day during their most fragile developmental years. Get a mattress free of  synthetic materials that can release potentially toxic chemicals into the air your baby breathes.

Nursery air purifier. Keeping the air in the nursery clean with an air purifier prevents allergens, dust and mold from irritating fragile newborn lungs.  Babies breathe an average of 30-60 times a minute—that’s more than double the amount of an adult. With this greater intake of air during the early post neonatal period, the developing lungs are highly susceptible to environmental pollutants.

 

Allergy Tips for Spring 2016

Allergies tend to take us by surprise, especially if we only have spring-related allergies like pollen.  Our symptoms subside over the winter and then with the first warm breezy day we start sneezing. Here are some preemptive measures you can take before spring allergy season 2016 takes hold.

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  1. Complete An Early Spring Cleaning

The dust that has lain dormant over the winter will be whipped up into an allergy frenzy when you open the windows on the first warm day of spring. Do a thorough spring cleaning. Be sure to change air filters in your furnace and clean air vents throughout the house.

  1. Don’t Take Pollen to Bed

Bedding can actually accrue pollen and other allergens as you come and go from your home on temperate days. Wash your sheets weekly in hot water to prevent allergen build-ups. This is especially true for pillow cases!

  1. Shower Before Bed

Further prevent allergens from following you to bed by showering at night. Pollen particles can cling to hair and skin.

  1. Get an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are especially helpful on high pollen count days. Choose an air purifier with a True HEPA filter that cleans 99.97% of allergy-causing irritants from the air such as pollen, ragweed, animal dander, and mold spores. Many air purifiers also include a carbon filter for reducing odors, certainly an added benefit. Running an air purifier in your bedroom at night also helps you sleep better. If you do, get one that runs quietly.  Also make sure to change your filter regularly. Find an air purifier with a filter change indicator so you don’t have to keep checking.

New AeraSmart™ Sensor Technology monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep your air purified.

  1. Avoid Hair Products if Possible

Hair gels and sprays are pollen magnets. If you must use hair products, at least rely on step 3 to wash hair thoroughly at the end of the day.

  1. Remove Shoes At Home Shoes, like hair and skin can pick up allergen particles that have settled on the ground. Wearing shoes indoors can circulate those particles in your house.
  1. Wear Shades Outside Pollen and other allergens and accumulate around the eyes. Sunglasses can protect the eye areas.

Choosing an Air Purifier for the Home

Whether for allergies or asthma, or simply as a well-being measure to help improve your indoor air, selecting the right air purifier for your home can be a daunting task. With so many models available, it can be difficult the choose the best air cleaner for your needs. Here are some simple tips to help make your air purifier selection:

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 Insight into Air Purifier Filters

  1. True HEPA filter. This is a must-have feature for any air purifier purchase. This filter type safely removes 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen, ragweed and other allergens, viruses, germs, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander and cigarette smoke. Selecting an air purifier with this filter ensures the highest performance for cleaning indoor air.
  2. Treated filters. If you are looking for extra clean air, you might look for HEPA filters with antimicrobial treatment. This provides built-in protection from the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mildew, and fungi on the True HEPA filter.
  3. Carbon filters. Though not necessarily cleaning the air, carbon filters are great for reducing household odors. It’s perfect for any location in the home where odors tend to occur regularly. Carbon filter air purifiers are especially great for a baby’s room air purifier where dirty diapers leave their trademark scent. You may want to look for an air purifier with both True HEPA and carbon filters in the same machine.

Determining Air Purifier Room Size

Often air cleaners are selected based entirely on price. But this can be deceiving, and probably disappointing when you find out that your air purifier doesn’t seem to be performing as well as you thought. Smaller air purifiers may be less expensive, but may not clean the air in the room size you have at home. Be sure to measure the space where you want to use your air purifier so you can make the best choice in terms of air coverage.

100-200 square feet ( great for small rooms like nurseries or a home office)

200-400 square feet (perfect for average size rooms like bedrooms)

300-600 square feet  (covers large areas like big family rooms or living rooms)

 

Other features to consider:

  1. If you suffer from allergies or want to keep your indoor clean during cold and flu season, consider air purifiers with added performance features during these key periods like Aera+ Mode
  2. Filter change indicators are great to help maintain clean air filters without having to continually check inside the machine. An indicator light simply tells you when it is time to get a new filter. This feature is especially helpful for air purifiers that run continuously.
  3. Quiet performance. Allergy sufferers often run air purifiers while they sleep. An air purifier that runs quietly is essential for peaceful rest with cleaner air.
  4. Pet air purifiers. If you have pets, that means dander and odors are something you contend with daily. Pet air purifiers assist with cleaning the air of pet-related airborne particles.

How Indoor Air Makes Winter Colds Worse

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With winter, indoor air quality worsens, leading to a greater opportunity for colds during the season. Here are some solutions to keep indoor air healthier.

1. Open the windows every now and then. On warmer winter days, fresh air can actually kill germs, flushing them from stuffy rooms.

2. Get rid of poor indoor air quality at the source. Clean air ducts and replace furnace filters regularly to prevent germs from re-circulating throughout your home all season long.

3. Use air purifiers. The best air cleaners can help reduce the cold and flu virus, especially in closed spaces. Air purifiers can also safely remove 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pollen, ragweed and other allergens, viruses, germs, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander and cigarette smoke–all factors that contribute to compromised lung function and make anyone in a winterized household more susceptible to airborne germs. You may want to consider certain air cleaners which feature allergy and flu settings to help during flu season and also allergy season in the spring.

It’s also important to know that during cold and flu season babies are more susceptible to the airborne germs circulating in your home. In fact, babies breathe an average of 30-60 times a minute–that’s more than double the amount of an adult. Considering that a baby’s lung are not yet fully developed at birth, and with their faster breathing rate, respiratory illnesses can account for the most health problems among infants. Specially designed baby air purifiers kept in a nursery can aid with reducing airborne pollutants around a young child.

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You may also want to look for air purifiers that feature carbon filters for odor, and definitely a True HEPA filter to help reduce as many airborne pollutants as possible. Some air purifiers also feature alerts to let you know when it is time to change the air filter, and quiet performance so that you can run your air purifier in a baby’s room or while you sleep without any disturbance.

Be sure to choose your air purifier by room size. Some air cleaners are perfect for small rooms. For larger spaces, make sure the air cleaner you choose has the capacity to cover the square footage of the area you want to be purified.

If you have pets, you may also want to consider air cleaners that help with pet dander and other allergens that are associated with dogs and cats. You don’t have to curse your pets for your sneezing anymore.

The Hottest Trend in Baby Shower Gifts: Clean Air?

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A gift for the baby shower can be phoned in: clothes, toys. etc.  But meaningful, heartfelt gifts can express how much you care and how much thought you put into the purchase.

A Peace of Mind Gift That Keeps on Giving

When new moms are decorating the nursery, the last thought is for an air purifier. Here is the perfect gift that no one else will think of and it shows you are thinking ahead to the new baby’s healthy development.

Studies show that of all the organs, the lungs, which are not fully developed at birth, account for the most health problems among infants and young children. While they sleep, babies can be breathing dust, mold spores and dander. A spotless baby’s room does not necessarily mean clean air.

Babies breathe an average of 30-60 times a minute—that’s more than double the amount of an adult. With this greater intake of air during the early post neonatal period, the developing lungs are highly susceptible to environmental pollutants.

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Best Air Purifier For A Baby’s Room

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The difference between fresh air and air fresheners

 

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Air fresheners by their commonality may seem harmless enough for providing a clean fresh scent indoor scent. However, in a  study by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)  many air freshener products contain phthalates, hazardous chemicals known to cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems.  NRDC’s independent testing of 14 common air fresheners, none of which listed phthalates as an ingredient, uncovered these chemicals in 86 percent of the products tested.

Time Magazine, however, raised questions about the research. “While the study looked at which air fresheners contain the chemicals and how much, it did not assess people’s exposure to phthalates from these products — the size of the room, the distance from the air freshener and how long a person stays in the room are all factors that would affect potential toxicity.”

“We’re not saying that there’s any clear-cut evidence here for health effects,” says Dr. Gina Solomon of the NRDC. “If consumers want to reduce overall exposure, avoid these products or pick ones with lower levels.”

Some fresh air alternatives

If there are health concerns about air fresheners, here are some alternatives for improved indoor air quality:

  1. Open the Windows-There is no substitute for good ventilation
  2. Houseplants-Scientists funded by NASA say their research shows that plants clean indoor air. These scientists and other vigorous advocates say that plants have been cleaning the earth’s atmosphere for millions of years, why not your indoor air as well?
  3. Air purifiers- safely removes 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns!

 

Why Purify Your Indoor Air? Learn more

Make Sure Your Air Purifier has the right filters: see the video

Enjoying Clean Air for the Holidays

The holiday season is also cold and flu season. We spend a lot of time entertaining and at holiday parties, which means a lot of opportunities for airborne viruses to spread. According to one report, one person sneezing can infect an entire room with Influenza A. This microbe can survive  for up to 24 hours and spread to holiday guests six feet away—even without a sneeze to send it along.

Here is a holiday to-do list to make sure we don’t give or receive germs for Christmas:

1       Get a flu shot

During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

2.       Clean hands, clean surfaces

During the holiday rush, we may forget to keep our hands clean even after simple contact such as shaking hands at the office. Use pocket hand sanitizer to make minimizing the spread of germs convenient. The same can be said for surfaces in our home, especially after someone in the house has already been sick. Be sure to disinfect key germ-carrying surfaces such as the TV remote control and the door handles to refrigerators and microwaves.

3.       Purify your indoor air

The impact of an air purifier, even running discreetly in the background of your holiday get-together, can be dramatic. The Fellowes AeraMax captures 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, which can help clean the air of those stubborn viruses, ensuring cleaner and healthier holiday entertaining.

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