Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

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. The mites live in:

  • Bedding and pillows

  • Upholstered furniture

  • Carpets

  • Clothes

  • Stuffed toys

  • Fabric-covered items

Dust mites are common allergens. That means they often cause allergic symptoms. They can also worsen symptoms in many people with asthma. Dust mites feed on the shed scales of human skin. The waste products of the dust mite are what produce allergic reactions and asthma. The best way to prevent dust mites is to limit your child's exposure. If your child is allergic to dust mites, decrease his or her exposure with the following:

  • Beds. Use a wooden or metal bed frame. Do not allow your child to 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. Tape over the zippers with electrical or duct tape.

  • Pillows. Put pillows in zippered, dust-proof covers. Pillows should be made of Dacron or other synthetic fiber. Do not use foam, feather, or "down" pillows.

  • Bedding. Avoid wool or down blankets. Wash all bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets) in hot water to kill the dust mites.

  • Floor coverings. If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpeting. If not, vacuum the carpet frequently (at least twice a week).

    • Vacuum when your child is out of the room and will not return or 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.

  • Furnace (heating). Electric or gas heat is recommended.

    • Do not use wood stoves or kerosene heaters.

    • Change the air filters on the furnace every month.

    • Cover vents with special filters or with cheesecloth or muslin. This will catch dust in the furnace air. Change the cloth about every two weeks.

  • 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. Or, they can also be put in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.

Your Child's Allergies: Dust Mites - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2014-08-26T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2014-08-27T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2014-08-27T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to www.mywellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×