Monday, October 31, 2005

A Good Dusting For Baby

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that doctors cannot officially diagnose asthma until the age of two. This decision is mainly because babies' lungs are still developing, and wheezing and coughing may be signs of other medical problems.

Still, many moms and dads will attest that they were certain their children had asthma, even as babies. If you suspect that your baby could have asthma, you can give your house a good cleaning to help with breathing. Even if no one has breathing problems, these measures will help keep the air in your house much cleaner.

The first job you have is to fix any leaks. Any plumbing leaks can add to the moisture in the house, causing an increased likelihood that you will find mold in your home. The first stop to improving the quality of air, then is to fix any problems with leaks that you have. You will want to get rid of moisture of any kind in your home, so be sure that you look for any likely moisture areas, such as in the bathrooms and laundry room. Replace any panels or floor covering that needs it.

If you happen to find mold, you may want to get a mold test done. The black mold that you hear about causing sickness is not too common, and you will get headaches and nausea from exposure. Still, you may want to consider having someone test for it just to be sure. When you are trying to get rid of mold spots on your own, you simply use bleach to do so. Wear a mask so that you are not inhaling the mold or the bleach. Put on latex gloves and spray down the mold and scrub.

Next you will want to discard any porous surfaces that have any type of moisture or mold. These materials cannot be cleaned, even with bleach. Materials such as insulation or sheetrock have holes in them, and you will not be able to get the mold out. You should just have new pieces installed.

Once you have finished the major cleaning associated with getting cleaner air, you can start on the maintenance work. You will need to vacuum and dust on a regular basis. Do not simply wipe off surfaces. You will need to use a dusting cleaner and actually get down and dirty with dusting. Be sure that you do not neglect fans and other high surfaces. You can use feather dusters to reach ceiling fans. You also should take the face off any oscillating or box fans and clean off the blades with a dry cloth.

Finally, be sure that you talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned. While you may not get an asthma diagnosis, you may find that you can use medication, humidifiers, or other devices to help make your home's air better for everyone. Your baby's lungs are still delicate, so any cleaning and dusting you do will make your home a better place for him or her.

By Julia Mercer

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