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Back To School Allergy Tips

National Allergy Contest Winner
Welcome to the August edition of the National Allergy E-Mail Newsletter. It's hard to believe that within days, the kids in my district will be heading back to school. Not too long after that, college students will start packing up and heading away for dorm and apartment life. With students in mind, this month I'll review some Back To School Allergy Tips. If your children are allergy sufferers, they may be leaving the safe-zone you have created in your home for a world that isn't as conscious as you about controlling environmental allergens. Read on for some tips to help your children stay symptom-free this fall.

If you're new to the newsletter or you'd like to reread any of our newsletters, you can find all of our past issues on our website. In future editions, we'll continue to provide you with more educational articles about the aggravating factors behind allergy, asthma, and sinus problems as well as helpful tips and valuable subscriber-only coupons. To top it off, at the beginning of each month we give away an Austin Air HM-400 Air Purifier, valued at $449.99, to one lucky subscriber! Click here for a list of previous winners.


Katie Weaver
& The National Allergy Newsletter Team


Back To School Allergy Tips

In This Issue:

College Students: Taking Allergies To The Dorm Room

National Allergy July Coupon(Adapted from the October 2005 "Anatomy of an Allergy Free Bedroom" Newsletter)

The following tips are directed toward college-bound students and parents. But if your son or daughter is not yet at that stage, you can implement these suggestions in their bedroom at home so they will sleep restfully with fewer allergy and asthma symptoms. Remember the Bucket Theory - less exposure at home means your child is less likely to react strongly to allergens at school.

Use Dust Mite Proof Bedding Encasings
Many dorm room beds don't have box springs, but they all have mattresses, usually long twin, that have in many cases been used by several people already. Zippered allergen-proof covers were my #1 defense in college for keeping my pillow and mattress from making me sick. I used BedCare Basics on the mattress because it's economical, light weight, and lasted through my college years. I'd recommend a new Mite-Proof Pillow, or your student can protect a favorite pillow with one of our comfortable zippered pillow encasings. I had a light down comforter on my bed, so to keep allergens out I used an allergen-proof inner liner under my duvet cover. If your student's bed ensemble includes decorative pillows or shams, they should be encased as well. The key to an allergy-free sanctuary is controlling allergens at the core, the bed.

Back To School Allergy Tips from National Allergy Supply Wash Your Bedding
I know it may be hard to imagine that a college student would wash their bedding every 2 weeks (if at all!), but that's the only way to keep sheets and blankets less prone to dust mites. If washing those soft jersey knit sheets in hot, hot water seems like a shrinking hazard, send your student some De-Mite Laundry Additive - adding it even to cold-water washes will eliminate dust mites! For any other sheets and blankets, Anti-Allergen Solution Detergent is another all-in-one option: it cleans bedding (and clothes) and neutralizes allergens so they don't effect you. And as for those stuffed animals your son or daughter just can't leave behind, spray them with an allergen inhibiting spray. Some experts also recommend throwing them in a plastic bag and placing them in the freezer overnight. While the dust mites won't be happy, this solution doesn't make their allergen (feces) already in the stuffed toy less harmful. If you opt for the freezer method, just be careful that the little stuffed fellow doesn't get discovered during a late-night dorm kitchen raid!

Treat Carpet and Rugs
Dust mites love the warm, moist environment of rugs and carpeting. They feed on the dead skin cells and other organic matter that rests between those carpet fibers. Fortunately, my first dorm room in college had cold, hard, tile floors. While our little throw-rug did wonders to warm the feet, it also attracted dust mites. Wall to wall carpeting, as I had in my campus apartment a few years later, is an even bigger dust mite haven. The best treatment for dorm room furnishings, including carpets and other upholstered furniture, is an anti-allergen spray or moist powder that will inhibit allergens so they don't become airborne. It's just a little chore that will help your son or daughter feel more refreshed for that 8 a.m. English class.

Lower Humidity and Moisture
Between damp towels, sweaty shoes and drink spills, dorm rooms can be a welcome home for mold and mildew. It may be unseen, but mold can wreak havoc on an allergy sufferer's health. Students should be careful to keep moisture in check, not only to stave off mold and mildew, but dust mites too. Running the air conditioner can help lower humidity levels. If the room is near the hall bathroom, or has a bathroom of its own, protect surfaces with No More Mildew.

Back To School Allergy Tips from National Allergy Supply Stop Incoming Dust With Filters
Turning up the A/C to lower moisture levels may expose your student to the allergens that lurk in the dorm building's HVAC system. No matter how much I dusted my dorm room, there always seemed to be dust bunnies and a clogged pre-filter on my air purifier. I should have been using a vent filter on the incoming ducts to ensure that allergens in the ductwork didn't make their way into our space. We have two vent filter kits - pre-cut and rolled. Both utilize the same high-grade polyester filter media come with velcro-type fastener strips. You may also check with dorm maintenance about how often they change filters, and whether they are using high-efficiency furnace filters. If the dust keeps piling up, make quick-work of dusting with our washable Dust Grabber cloth, it was an invaluable workhorse for me at school.

Make Allergy-Conscious Decorating Decisions
Decorating a dorm room may seem like a lost cause, but sure enough, my college roommate and I gave our tiny space some life, mostly with lots of clutter, which is the last thing an allergy-sufferer needs. Allergens love to settle on old books, piled clothes and stuffed animals. If your son or daughter's dorm or apartment has room for a chair, use a wood or plastic chair with little to no upholstery. If the apartment is furnished with upholstered chairs and sofas, be sure your student has some Anti-Allergen Solution handy to treat those surfaces every few months. The same treatment regimen should be applied to drapes and throw pillows.

Remove Airborne Allergens With a HEPA Air Purifier
The little HEPA air cleaner that ran in our dorm room collected so much gunk, I couldn't believe it. Both the pre-filter, which traps large particles, and the main HEPA filter, which traps the microscopic allergens, had to be changed far more regularly than is typical. To be certain, I wouldn't have slept nearly as well without it. I used a small Honeywell unit, similar to their current QuietCare model. I also recommend the extremely quiet Hunter QuietFlo 30245. A HEPA filter will remove airborne allergies like pollen, mold and animal dander so your son or daughter will wake feeling rested, not congested.

Other Healthy Back To School Products

DirtTamer Ultima Cordless HEPA Hand Vac from National Allergy Supply

Grade School Students: Taking Allergies To The Classroom

Air Quality
If you have younger children with allergies, they too will soon be leaving your home's allergy safe environment for long days in their school classrooms. After many high-profile mold infestation lawsuits and other air quality concerns, schools are doing a better job of keeping the air clean, but I assure you, allergens still abound. While your role as a parent may be limited in controlling the classroom's allergens, you could request that a
HEPA Air Cleaner be placed in the classroom. School maintenance may also be willing to use a dust-mite killing carpet treatment every few months, and they may even be open to using more chemically safe cleaning products.

Food Allergies
Food allergy is an ever growing problem in the United States and throughout the world. Reactions can range from minor congestion and watery eyes to life-threatening anaphylaxis like I experienced from shrimp when I was a child. Here are a few school-specific tips for avoiding reactions:

Taking Asthma To School

Fall can be a time of exciting transitions, and frustrating allergies. I hope that you and your family are able to make this Back To School season your most symptom-free yet!

This information is for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor first about your specific condition, treatment options and other health concerns you may have.

Remember that our customer service representatives have plenty of experience guiding people through the options for allergy, asthma and sinus relief, so feel free to contact us by calling one of our phone experts at 1-800-522-1448 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Eastern Time. You can also e-mail us at


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Help Your Friends

People you care about can benefit from allergen avoidance. Help them learn more about minimizing the allergens in their environment by forwarding them this issue of the National Allergy E-Mail Newsletter. They'll thank you for it!


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