Advertisement

How can mattresses and bedding affect my child's allergies?

Pillows, mattresses, box springs, sheets, and blankets are all home to dust mites -- microscopic creatures that trigger allergies in kids. While you can wash sheets and blankets (and should do so on a weekly basis), you can’t exactly stuff a mattress into the washing machine.

What you can do, though, is cover your child’s mattress and box spring with zippered plastic covers (you can find them in department and bed-and-bath stores). Before you buy any covers, crumple them to see how quiet they are. Some types are made of plastic that stays soft and quiet to the touch, while other types are made of plastic that crackles. Never use thin plastic, such as the plastic that comes with dry cleaning. It can get wrapped around a child’s face and become a safety hazard.

Make sure you buy a cover that completely encloses the mattress. It’s easy to find mattress covers that are made like fitted sheets, with elastic around the edges, but resist the urge to settle for those. They don’t do the job because they don’t completely enclose the mattress top and bottom. Once you get your mattress cover home, wash it before putting the mattress into it to get rid of that “plastic” smell. You should also cover your child’s pillow with the same type of plastic before putting the pillow in the pillowcase. Always check with your pediatrician about using a plastic pillow or mattress cover, though, before you actually buy one. A child who drools or sweats when sleeping may develop a rash because the plastic cover may trap moisture, causing skin irritation.
Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World

More About this Book

Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World

"101 Smart Solutions for Every Family... Allergens, Asbestos, Herbicides, ... Unsafe Foods..."

Continue Learning about Allergies in Children

Early Exposure to Pets Can Help Prevent Allergies
Early Exposure to Pets Can Help Prevent Allergies
In case you didn’t notice this past football season—Cleveland Browns fans sure did—the Dawg Pound on Lake Erie is back! After finally getting rid of a...
Read More
What are the risks to my child of an allergy skin test?
Paul M. Ehrlich, MDPaul M. Ehrlich, MD
A skin test (in which a small amount of a suspected allergen is injected under the skin) or Radi...
More Answers
Why should I take my child with allergies to a pediatric allergist?
Ms. Kathryne A. LeMieuxMs. Kathryne A. LeMieux
An allergist will pinpoint the cause of allergy and treat it specifically. For instance, perhaps an ...
More Answers
What medications might relieve my child's allergy symptoms?
Dr. Lawrence T. Chiaramonte, MDDr. Lawrence T. Chiaramonte, MD
The following drugs can help treat allergic rhinitis symptoms: diphenhydramine (Benadryl): OTC, 6...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.