In Arizona, April is the best time of year to take walks, picnic with family, throw open the doors and windows, and soak in the springtime. However, as desert wildflowers are beginning to bloom and the air gets a little warmer, it seems that fresh air is not the only thing that comes in with the breeze. Pollen, dust, and grass can infiltrate the air we breathe and cause uncomfortable allergy symptoms for everyone in the family.
Many people think they will be free from allergies in Arizona since the weather is so dry and the “seasons” don’t change much throughout the year but it’s actually the opposite!
Because temperatures don’t get below freezing, plants and weeds don’t have a chance to go dormant during our winter months, adding a fourth allergy season in the Grand Canyon State. The dry air actually aids pollen distribution because it becomes more buoyant without moisture in the air to weigh it down. In some places in Arizona, pollen can be carried more than 50 miles from where it originated!
Fortunately, there are many preventative measures you can take to ensure your family stays healthy during allergy season and all throughout the year.
Dust and wipe down windowsills, window coverings, and blinds at least once every two weeks. Vacuum drapes or curtains regularly with the hose attachment to keep them free of dust and potential allergens.
Don’t let pets sleep in the same room or bed as you or your children. Outdoor animals can track in all kinds of allergens that you can breathe in as you sleep, which will affect your respiratory system and keep you from a good night’s rest.
Use a small air filter in the bedrooms to prevent coughing and sneezing that will keep you awake all night long. Ensuring you get plenty of rest will keep your immune system healthy and able to fight off infection.
Vacuum the floors frequently to collect dust that has settled on the floors. Every footstep could be stirring up allergens that have settled into the carpet.
Stuffed animals and plush toys are great hiding places for dust and pollen. Kill dust mites by washing any machine-washable toys in hot water, then spinning them in a hot dryer cycle. If your child’s toys cannot be thrown in the wash, try placing them in an airtight plastic bag and freezing them! The cold temperatures will kill any lingering dust mites.
Wash and dry your family members’ sheets, comforters, and pillowcases once a week in hot temperatures to eliminate any allergens they may be snuggling up with at night.
If your child has persistent coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or stuffiness, check with your pediatrician or visit AllKids Urgent Care in Mesa or Gilbert to see if asthma or allergies are causing the symptoms.
Have a healthy, happy Spring!