My suspicion has been confirmed! My 4-year old daughter’s skin rashes are triggered by our home conditions rather than the outdoors.
Just a couple of months ago when the weather was super-hot in Singapore, my daughter participated in several outdoor activities that involved sandboxes and gardens during her preschool sessions. Around the same period, she began to develop rashes on her hands and face, so we assumed it was because she had been in the sun too much or because she didn’t wash her hands after playing with sand or soil.
Her doctor diagnosed it as eczema and prescribed some creams for her. However, even after regular application of the medication – and getting her to refrain from outdoor activity – her rashes persisted.
That was when I decided to examine our home environment because I have read some articles, for example this article, that suggest that our indoor air may be polluted and can cause health problems for the family. Moreover, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it was found that the air inside a home can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than the air outside, regardless of whether in rural or industrial areas.
With a little bit of CSI (crime-scene investigation) work, I somehow pinpointed the culprits that caused my daughter’s rashes to the terry cloth rug in my daughter’s room, which she likes to lie on every day, and her growing collection of soft toys.
The dust mites must have thrived in her room amidst the humid weather. True enough, after I removed the rug and gave all her dusty soft toys a good wash, my daughter’s eczema began to subside.
Now that I know my daughter can be prone to skin allergy, I am more mindful about what she is exposed to around the house and to try and keep our air clean.
Four Things I Do Now To Keep Allergies At Bay:
#1 Remove or regularly clean objects that can potentially trap dust or bacteria.
Prolonged exposure to such particles can develop into respiratory problems if they are not managed properly, especially in babies and young children, who have weaker respiratory systems. So I make sure to wash our family’s bedding every week and switch to hypoallergenic 100% cotton bedding. We also no longer have carpets in our house.
#2 No furry pets allowed!
Sad to say, my daughter’s long-wished-for pet Maltese is now a big no-no since animal fur is known to be a common allergen and might trigger another bout of her rashes. Perhaps keeping the pet clean and groomed could solve the problem, but I’m not taking any chances, at least for now.
#3 More Thorough Cleaning
When vacuuming and mopping the floor, I make sure I do not miss out the nooks and crannies, in between cabinets and under the bed, where mold tends to thrive. Moreover, I also make an effort to wash my daughter’s school bag more regularly and wipe her books, stationery, plastic toys with anti-bacterial wipes to prevent the build-up of bacteria that might cause allergies.
#4 Install an Air Conditioner Filter
Simply with the addition of a disposable aircon filter, our aircon unit can actually function as an air purifier! I choose the Filtrete™ Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filter from 3M, which is able to trap up to 25 times more micro-particles such as PM 2.5, allergens, and airborne particles, and 7 times more large particles such as sand, as compared to ordinary screens.
Made of electrostatically charged polypropylene fibers, the Filtrete™ Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filter enables the aircon to perform double duty to cool and purify the air from particles of less than 1micron in size; up to 83% clean air is delivered from within the first hour of running.
Each 3M Filter can last up to three months; it is recommended that you change your filter once every two to three months depending on your usage.
The Filtrete™ Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filter from 3M (2pcs, 30cmx60cm) is available in two types – the Filtrete™ Air Cleaning Filter (Regular) that retails at $25.50, and the Filtrete™ Air Cleaning Filter (Carbon) which additionally eliminates odors and stale air, that retails at $28.90.
They are available at selected Fairprice, Giant, Home-Fix, Popular, Selffix stores, e-commerce sites Lazada, Qoo10 and other leading retailers.
Receive a FREE set of Filtrete™ Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filters samples. Limited to the first 300 participants.