Since my family is suffering from the back-to-school-cold at the moment, I was interested when I read that it was about allergies. By the time I was finished this article, I was SO motivated to clean my house! LOL! If you need motivation to clean, read this below - you'll want to start scrubbing immediately! :)
Dust Mites (or "Are you sleeping in poo?")
by Jill Cooper
My son had to go to the emergency room last night. He's better now, but he has had continuing problems with asthma and allergies for years. It seems that more and more people are having problems with allergies and other respiratory problems. The doctor told me, and I'm sure most of you have heard by now, that dust mites are a big cause of respiratory ailments, but I'm not sure if everyone knows how important it is to get rid of them or just how to go about doing it.
Changing your sheets can be one of the ways to help. I know that this may seem obvious but a lot of people really don't change their sheets weekly. They bathe every day and insist upon having clean clothes everyday but they don't change their sheets.
Sometimes they don't even use sheets properly. For example, I have been in many homes where there are no top sheets on the beds, especially on children's beds. This got me to thinking that maybe everyone doesn't understand the purpose of sheets.
Bottom sheets are to protect the mattress from sweat, dead skin cells and other things that we shed. The purpose of the top sheet is to protect the blankets and comforters from the same things. By using sheets, you can easily wash them each week, getting rid of the food for the dust mites without having to wash all of the blankets and comforters. It is a little more difficult to clean a mattress or comforter than to throw sheets in the washer and comforters don't stand up as well to weekly cleaning.
If a person doesn't use a top sheet, sweat and dead skin cells get into the blankets and comforters which attract dust mites. After just a short period of time, bedding becomes full of dust mite "poo" and vomit.
Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it isn't there. I have never seen a virus before, but that doesn't mean that they aren't there and that they won't make me sick. Dust mites are real and, pardon me for being gross, but in the same way I wouldn't want to crawl into a bed full of roaches, I don't want to sleep with dust mites.
Whether or not you have been using sheets properly, there are other things you can do to keep these unpleasant critters from taking over your bed. Running blankets, comforters, and pillows through a hot dryer or hanging them in the hot sun will help. Vacuuming pillows and mattresses is also very helpful.
Don't forget dusting. If we don't keep control of the general dust in our homes that collects on our furniture and floors, the dust mites "poo" is probably floating in our air, too.
We need to open our eyes. We worry about making sure our kids drink only the purest water, eat food with no preservatives, and breathe clean air when they're in the outside environment, but the dirty homes that they live in are, in some cases, causing them more harm than all of these other things put together.
People didn't start cleaning their homes to be "house proud". They started cleaning their homes to give their families healthy places to live. My daughter once read a story about a doctor whose patient had come in with a severe asthma attack. The doctor said that "women's lib" was killing his patients. The shocked patient looked at the doctor and asked what he meant. The doctor said that when women were told that it was demeaning to do house work -- that they should get a career and go to work instead of spending time cleaning their homes -- a rise in asthma had followed.
Now I don't know if that is a true story or not, but I do know we have a generation of people who really don't understand the importance of a clean home. It doesn't matter if you don't feel like doing it or if you get tired of doing the same thing over and over.
Most mornings, I don't feel like brushing my teeth. I get so tired of doing it, especially when I have to do it all over again the next day. Despite that, I do it so my family and friends don't have to put up with my bad breath and, oh yeah, so that my teeth won't fall out.
Look around your home. How healthy is it? What does it look like? I'm not talking about the usual kid clutter like toys, books, and a stray sock or shoe. I am talking about just plan filth. Does your house have an overall look of sunshine and sparkle or one that says, "No one who lives here really cares"?
There is a happy medium. We know some people who stress about once piece of paper sitting in a wastebasket and who are afraid to "live" in their homes. This is cleanliness gone awry! You home should be messy enough to feel comfortable, yet clean enough to be healthy. It should be a place your family doesn't dread coming home to. If your family is ashamed to bring their friends, it's a problem.
We need to remember that not only do our families have emotional needs and spiritual needs, but also physical needs. One of those physical needs is a clean home. We wouldn't purposely and knowingly expose our families to viruses, but many of us expose them to filthy homes daily. Yes, a little dust does make a difference.
I can hear a lot of you out there moaning, "I hate to clean". Here's something to think about. If you hate it that much, hire someone to clean for you. I know that doesn't sound "frugal". You may think that you can't afford it but, often, the cost to to pay someone to clean is no more than the cost of eating dinner out once or twice or the cost for a couple to go to one movie. I would be more than willing to cook a meal at home in order to have someone clean my home that day.
For those of you who are ill or have new babies, you may consider hiring someone to clean temporarily. What we don't often realize is that, years ago, most women, even the stay at home ones, had at least some sort of help at home. Families put that type of help at the top of the priority list. You would be amazed at how little you have to give up in order to pay for help. I know one woman who, if she could just restrain herself from buying one purse, could pay to have her house cleaned for several months.
The point I am trying to make is: Are you willing to give up something for a clean home and the health of your family? We bend over backwards to recycle, eat organic and clean up our world outside of our home. We have money to spend for pop, coffee, big screen TVs or expensive shoes and purses, but maybe we need to start putting forth more of that effort on maintaining the insides our own homes.
If your family has unusual problems with allergies, rashes, or colds, you might just look around your home and see if inadequate cleaning could be the problem. Now, of course, I'm not saying that you should just clean your house instead of going to the doctor, but you might find that by cleaning your house more effectively, you may have to go to the doctor less frequently.