Asthma is a common health concern in children. Asthma attacks can be triggered by allergies, and may be much more serious in children than adults because of the small size of a child's airways. Additionally, young children are prone to respiratory infections that can cause fevers, ear infections, and other complications. If your child suffers from allergies or constant respiratory problems, you may want to consider evaluating your home for potential sources of allergens. Many parents might recognize plants or animals as potential allergy sources, but did you know your carpet might be the culprit?
Improperly cleaned carpets can cause major health concerns for you and your family. Carpet traps dirt, dust, pollen, and other allergens from the air, leading to high concentration in the carpet fibers. These particles can then be stirred up by traffic, leading to pollution of the home's air. Additionally, dirty carpet can be especially harmful for young children who may crawl on the floor and become irritated by the carpet.
Common Risks Associated With Dirty Carpet:
· Allergens like pollen, pet dander, or dust. These can aggravate asthma symptoms and lead to respiratory illness. The carpet works like an air filter by attracting particles from the air and trapping them in the fiber, but every time someone walks on the floor, the particles become airborne again.
· Dust mites. Mites feed on dead skin, bacteria, and other particles in carpet. Most people are allergic to dust mites, and they can cause itchy eyes, runny noses, and skin rashes. In addition to carpet, dust mites may also take up residence in your furniture, especially pillows and mattresses.
· Fungus, bacteria, and mold. Dirty carpet becomes especially dangerous if it grows damp, as it then can become a breeding ground for mold or other harmful fungi and bacteria. Mold spores can cause disease and create asthma complications. Some mold is highly toxic and can cause severe medical problems if not dealt with. Worse, mold is very difficult to kill; if you have a bad mold or fungus invasion in your carpet, you may have to remove the carpet entirely.
In order to maintain a safe house for you and your children, you need to clean your carpets regularly. If you wait until your carpet is visibly dirty, it's too late: The carpet will already be contaminating your home's air with allergens.
How Often to Clean
Vacuum often, at least once a week, and invest in professional carpet cleaning equipment rental or hire a professional at least twice a year. If you have pets, you will need to clean your carpets more often than pet-free households; you will also need to clean more regularly if you smoke in your house or subject it to other chemicals or fumes. The best vacuum cleaners are those that utilize air filters and don't kick up a lot of dust into the home.
By utilizing regular cleaning, you can keep your carpets toxin-free and create a safe, allergen-free environment for your child.