Can blankets cause allergies?

Can blankets cause allergies?

Your bedroom can be a nightmare for yourself and specially for your kids. How is that possible? You clean your house everyday, you dust your house everyday, you have an air purifier in your home, then how can your bedroom cause allergies in your child? Coughing, sneezing, itching- kids with allergies can have a tough time getting the sweet dreams that is needed for them. Sudden weather changes do trigger some allergies, but the culprits inside your bedroom remain intact and hidden from our eyes. Who are those culprits? Pillows, bed sheets, blankets, curtains are home to various dust mites- microscopic creatures that trigger allergies in children. Dust mites thrive on house dust and their droppings can cause terrible allergies all year round. Blankets are unavoidable during the winter months. The moment you take out the blanket from their hibernation, it is the tendency to pile them up under the sun for a day or two till the foul fragrance wards off and then they are good to use. This is not the case. Since the blankets have been in a closed area for more than 6 months, there is a tendency for dust mites and other microscopic parasites to make it their homes. The warm and dark climate where the blankets were stored also poses a great place for such microbes to breed. Thus it becomes a source of allergies when your child uses the same blankets to sleep in. Also read: How to identify and deal with breastmilk allergy in babies? It should be a habit to wash the blankets once they have been taken out of their hiding. They should be washed properly in warm water and then dried properly. Dry cleaning the blankets before using them is also a good idea. Also read: How to identify allergies in children

What allergies can fabrics cause?

Runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, scratchy throat, skin rashes and sometimes severe eczema can be the common allergies that children and even adults can catch from fabrics and blankets. In many cases the fabric isn’t the problem but the chemicals used to wash them are so harsh that they can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms of blanket allergies can include contact dermatitis which is a red rash on the skin that can appear as bumps or hives and they itch and hurt. In many cases the rash appears on areas where the blanket comes in contact with the skin like on the feet, neck, hands. Also read: Common Allergies In Babies

Blankets- the main cause of allergies during winters:

The fabric of the blanket can be a main cause of allergy. Frizzy blankets can have dust settle on them and if not washed regularly they will be the cause for various allergies. Natural fabrics like untreated cotton or blankets with silk coverings are good. Knit blankets, fleece blankets, cotton, cashmere or wool blankets work well depending on the type of weather and how cold it is. A blanket allergy can be of two types:
  1. As soon as the blanket comes in contact with the skin, it might cause skin reactions like rashes. This is an instant reaction and if the blanket is removed the rash will disappear.
  2. The next type of reaction is a delayed reaction which may occur hours or even days after the blanket is used. This might cause sneezing, running nose or an eczema like rash. This is quite confusing as many people think it is the flu or the mild cough that they have due to the weather but they do not think of their blankets they sleep in being the reason behind this misery.
Also read: 9 Home Remedies For Eye Allergies That Are Simple Yet Effective for kids

How to keep blanket or fabric allergies at bay?

  • Your bedroom should not have heavy rugs, carpets or very heavy curtains.
  • Move most books, toys and stuffed animals outside the bedroom.
  • Dust at least once a week, more if possible
  • Clean yours and your child’s blankets every month and dry them properly under the sun.
  • Use gentle detergents to clean blankets
  • Get rid of really fuzzy, hairy blankets and get the normal, cozy, warm ones.
  • Wash your child’s bed linen in hot water at least once a week.
  • Use a humidifier at night to filter out pollen and dust particles from the bedroom
  • You should keep a tab on cleaning the room properly if you own a pet dog or cat. Pet hair can get stuck onto rugs and blankets and that can cause allergies.
  • All new blankets should be washed properly before using.
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