- Avoid mold spores. Mold spores grow in moist areas. If you reduce the moisture in the bathroom and kitchen, you will reduce the mold. Fix any leaks inside and outside of your home and clean moldy surfaces. Plants can carry pollen and mold too, so limit the number of houseplants. Dehumidifiers can also help reduce mold.
- Be school savvy. Children in the United States miss about two million school days each year because of allergy symptoms. Parents, teachers and health care providers can work together to help prevent and treat childhood allergies. Monitor the classroom for plants, pets or other items that may carry allergens. Encourage your child to wash his/her hands after playing outside. Investigate treatment options to help your child manage his/her symptoms during the school day.
- Exercise outdoor smarts. Stay inside during peak pollen times, usually between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., when humidity is high, and on days with high wind, when dust and pollen are more likely to be in the air. If you do venture out, wear a facemask to limit the amount of pollen you inhale. Shower after spending time outside to wash away pollen that collects on your skin and hair.
- Keep your lawn trimmed. The shorter blades won't trap as much pollen from trees and flowers.
- Fine-tune your fitness routine. You breathe at least twice as fast when you're working out, which means you'll inhale even more allergens if you exercise outdoors. Morning exercisers are hit hardest because airborne allergens peak during the early hours, starting at 4 a.m. and lasting until noon. Because pollen rises as morning dew evaporates, the ideal time for an outdoor workout is mid-afternoon. Where you work out can also matter: Exercising on the beach, an asphalt tennis court, the track at your local high school, or in the swimming pool are better options than working out on a grassy field.
- Run right after it rains. The moisture washes away the pollen for up to several hours. But once the air dries, take cover: The additional moisture generates even more pollen and mold, which can hang around for several days.
| Aug 27, 2009